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Civilisations beyond our galaxy

How many civilisations might there be in our Galaxy, and how could we find out?

To celebrate the 90th birthday (28th May 2020) of Frank Drake, who formulated his famous equation in 1961 as a step towards answering this fundamental question, we present 30 minutes of ‘fly on the wall’ video of Frank Drake in conversation with presenter Dallas Campbell.

This material was recorded in 2010 for a Bang Goes the Theory special programme about the Drake Equation, produced in collaboration with the Open University. Very little of this footage was included in the broadcast programme, but it includes many fascinating insights into the logic behind the Drake equation, the history of SETI (Search for ExtraTerrestial Intelligence) and the Fermi Paradox.

This video is used as a learning activity in the Open University level 2 course S283 'Planetary Science and the Search for Life'.