Christmas Lecture 2015: The Search for ET: William Joyce

December 12, 2015 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Willingdon Memorial Hall
Eastbourne, East Sussex BN20 9HT

Christmas Lecture 2015: The Search for ET

William Joyce (lecturer at The Observatory Science Centre, Herstmonceux)

This talk summarizes the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (or SETI) attempts that have been made to search for intelligent life via radio signals of extra-terrestrial origin, and how such searches have been informed by astronomical considerations and the use of the Drake formula. Then the implications of the results to date are explored, including the Fermi Paradox and various suggested solutions to this, including Galactic colonization. Finally a possible glimpse of the future is presented speculating about interstellar travel.


William Joyce has been interested in astronomy, the planets, and space travel since he was 6 years old. He was an astronomy educator at the Observatory Science Centre at Herstmonceux, where he taught basic and more advanced astronomy and planetary science courses, provided workshops on rocketry, geology and meteorites, presented planetarium shows in schools and other venues, gave talks on astronomy and planetary science topics, and showed the night sky to school groups, the public and others using the large telescopes.

William has a B.Sc. in Physics and Astronomy, which led to research in satellite remote sensing instruments, followed by an industrial career in laboratory work, spacecraft software engineering and aerospace systems engineering. He is a Chartered Physicist and a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.

More recently, William returned to academia and gained a B.Sc. in Earth and Planetary Science, which was followed by University lecturing, teaching assistant work, and course materials development in geophysics and planetary science subjects. He is currently studying the Moon for a Ph.D. in lunar remote sensing at Birkbeck, University of London.

William now gives talks to interested groups, and has recently written and produced astronomy and planetary science courses designed to bring these subjects to the general public in an engaging, up-to-date, and easily understood way.

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