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In 1948 British astronomer Fred Hoyle wrote: 'Once a photograph of the earth, taken from outside, is available... a new idea as powerful as any in history will be let loose.' For some time I have wanted to lift The Psychologist free from earthly shackles, pausing to look back at our blue planet before forging ahead to the stars in search of powerful new ideas. This, finally, is an 'out of this world' issue.
We meet a clinical psychologist who is Director of Interstellar Message Composition at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. Frankly, that would be enough. But we also have close encounters, aliens in fiction, psychology in deep space and lessons from historical hoaxes.
This might be one of our more 'out there' editions, but I am convinced it's grounded in serious and sensible science. I'm also hopeful you will humour me at www.thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/aliens-are-coming-look-busy - if we had credible warning of an imminent alien invasion, how would humanity - and psychologists - react?
Dr Jon Sutton
What would you say to an alien?
Jon Sutton talks to Douglas Vakoch, clinical psychologist and Director of Interstellar Message Composition at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
Psychology in deep space
Nick Kanas considers issues and countermeasures
Eye on fiction: The alien in us all
We asked for your favourite alien entity, and what their depiction says about our own psychology
Close encounters of the psychological kind
Christopher C. French considers explanations of UFO sightings, alien encounters and even abductions
Encountering extraterrestrial intelligence
Albert Harrison looks to lessons from history
7 years ago
Go to www.thepsychologist.org.uk for our archive, including (December 2008) 'New horizons'
New voices: The flat landscape
Clementine Edwards considers emotional deficits in schizophrenia, in the latest of our series for budding writers (see www.bps.org.uk/newvoices)
Cheltenham Literature Festival; malnourishment; good childhood; hearing voices; A-level psychology; fear in organisations; psychological terms to avoid; and more
President's column; what 'good' looks like for children; PsyPAG; and more
What happened when psychologists tried to replicate previously published findings?; political skills in the workplace; what is it like to be a refugee with psychosis?; 'interpersonal gazing'; and what do long distance runners think about?; in the latest from our free Research Digest (see www.bps.org.uk/digest)
We meet Doyin Atewologun, and psychology graduate Melanthe Grand interviews her mother, Chartered Psychologist and novelist Voula Grand
One on one
with Jo Silvester, Professor of Organisational Psychology
Oliver Sacks - an extraordinary life; the Wiley Handbook of Genius; How to Have a Better Brain; the Amazing World of M.C. Escher; People, Places and Things at the National Theatre; Edinburgh Fringe Festival; Uta Frith on her involvement with Horizon's 'A Monster in My Mind'; and more
Centre-page pull-out motion illusions in static patterns: images and words from research by Johannes Zanker