In 2009, a number of authors, researchers and activists came up with a common set of definitions for Exopolitics. Their analysis had revealed that the term was being used in three different ways, with three distinct meanings:
- as a scientific discipline
- as a worldwide movement
- as a new paradigm
What they have in common, is that they all deal with the implications of extraterrestrial life.
Two definitions were therefore put forward:
- An informal definition: Exopolitics is the convergence of a new interdisciplinary science, an international political movement and a new paradigm, which all deal with the wide range of implications of extraterrestrial life.
- A formal definition: Exopolitics is an interdisciplinary scientific field, with its roots in the political sciences, that focuses on research, education and public policy with regard to the actors, institutions and processes, associated with extraterrestrial life, as well as the wide range of implications this entails through public advocacy and newly emerging paradigms.
Within this context, there is plenty of important work to be done. There is plenty of evidence not only for the existence of extraterrestrial life, but also for its presence here on Earth that needs to be investigated. We must find out as much as possible as to the who and what we are dealing with. There also is research to be done on how this presence has been dealt with thus far.
At least as important is the prospect that we soon will openly start interacting with non-human intelligences. It is vital that we start studying the effects this will have on society. Knowing that ‘Others’ are here will have an impact, e.g., on
- Religion and Theology
- Science (cf. the WEF 2013 Global Risks Report)
- Law / Legal System
- Philosophy / Ideology / Belief Systems / Psychology / Ethics & Morality (WEF 2013 Global Risks Report)
- Other Cultural Transformative Implications of the Extraterrestrial Presence
We need to start preparing for a post-contact world. This not only implies dealing with how this will affect existing society. We also will need an organized political response to the ET presence; i.e., we need to start working on exodiplomacy. All of this also entails that we are dealing with a new scientific paradigm for which we will have to develop new concepts and a new vocabulary, new scientific methodologies and experimental practices.
There is plenty of important work to be done.
Unfortunately, in recent years, a lot of emphasis has been put on conspiracy theories, which typically rely on low quality evidence that often is circumstantial at best.
There is a need for exopolitics to shift its priorities and to get back to basics. At this stage, if exopolitics wants to play a relevant role, it needs to
- Emphasize the implications of the extraterrestrial presence, examples of which were mentioned before.
- Emphasize high-quality evidence, using sound methodologies where due diligence is given to source reliability and content validation.
- De-emphasize conspiracy theories.
- Emphasize a rational convergence of explanations.