Close Encounters and its influence on UFO pop culture

Hey Space Friends!

Here's some particularly outer space-tastic discussion for your weekend. I invited two awesome futurists onto Offworld to chat with me about the 1977 film Close Encounters of the Third Kind and what kind of influence it had (or didn't) on shaping our view of aliens and UFOs for decades to come. I led the discussion with Rose Eveleth, creator of the Flash Forward podcast, and Laura Welcher of the Long Now Foundation and METI International. All three of us are women who have a hand in future forecasting work (I used to do some work with Institute For The Future before my current future-facing work at NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts program).

In addition to discussing our takeaways from the film, we talk about when telepathy was considering up-and-coming science (and how science is still investigating it to this day!), and some behind-the-scenes knowledge of that famous musical sequence that defined the movie for decades to come. Overall, I think it's an interesting movie to dissect given that the year it was released (1977) was also the year we launched the two Voyager space probes into space. Check it out on YouTube or your favorite podcast app.



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