The human response to extraterrestrial life

November 27, 2019Atelier 210 Brussels
Extra Terrestrial
Doors open: 19:30
Start programme: 20:30
Atelier 210
Chaussée Saint-Pierre 210

For centuries, humankind has been intrigued by the potential existence of extraterrestrial life. To date, the existence of extraterrestrial life still remains in the realm of speculations as no scientific evidence has yet been found. Steered by the question (or is it the fear?) of humankind being alone in this immense Universe, the quest tirelessly continues.

What is the current scientific understanding on extra terrestrial live? Is humankind the contingent outcome of evolution? Can humankind transcend its own unique viewpoint, which allows them to interpret the observable universe, and recognize extraterrestrial life? And if we once succeed in getting in contact with our extraterrestrial neighbors, how would humankind react? Insights from psychology, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, and political sciences can yield a guiding principle to mapping the human response to extraterrestrial life, be it collective or as individuals.

Afterwards, smoking cocktails with out-of-this-world flavours at the bar and Kùzylarsen takes to the stage. The oud, electric bass, small electro-acoustic percussions, refined arrangements and a calm voice, Mathieu Kùzylarsen and his accomplice Alice Vande Voorde sing songs that tell us about the human conditions that resonate as unbearable, but also love and sensuality. The words are revealed slowly, in a high voice that always seems to seek, beyond the unbearable surface, a little of that oxygen that is missing so much.

Extra Terrestrial

Leen Decin

The human response to extraterrestrial life

What is a habitable exoplanet? How many are there? And where are all the aliens? Exoplanets can serve as a test for the universal laws of
biology. Could life have evolved on other planets as well? And what will happen when we find extraterrestrial life?

Talk by

Leen Decin

Leen Decin is professor in Astronomy at KU Leuven. She started an interdisciplinary research group focusing on climate systems for exoplanets and received the prestigious ERC consolidator grant in 2014. Since 2017 she is also affiliated to the School of Chemistry of the University of Leeds.


Music by


Kùzylarsen consists of Alice Vande Voorde on bass and Mathieu Kùzylarsen on the oud, a Middle Eastern lute. They play refined arrangements with small electro-acoustic percussions and a calm voice that anchor the spectators in an imaginary context, a peaceful Babylonian garden while the thunder rumbles in the distance.