Earthlings to choose leader for alien visits
A MALAYSIAN scientist is expected to be appointed as "world leader" with responsibility for dealing with any alien visitors.
Mazlan Othman, an astrophysicist, is to be given the task of coordinating the response if extraterrestrials make contact.
Should aliens land on Earth and ask: "Take me to your leader" they would be directed to Mrs Othman.
She will set out the details of her proposed new role at a Royal Society conference in Buckinghamshire next week.
The 58-year-old scientist is expected to tell delegates that the proposal has been prompted by the recent discovery of hundreds of planets orbiting other stars out in space, which is thought to have raised the probability of discovering extraterrestrial life.
Mrs Othman is currently head of the UN's Office for Outer Space Affairs.
In a recent talk to fellow scientists, she said: "The continued search for extraterrestrial communication sustains the hope that some day humankind will receive signals from extraterrestrials.
"When we do, we should have in place a coordinated response that takes into account all the sensitivities related to the subject.
"The UN is a ready-made mechanism for such co-ordination."
Professor Richard Crowther, of the British space agency who leads delegations to the UN, said: "Othman is absolutely the nearest thing we have to a 'take me to your leader' person". (©Daily Telegraph London)