Slovakia Today, English Language Current Affairs Programme from Slovak Radio
The recent landing of the Perseverance rover on the surface of Mars – its main mission being to search for signs of ancient life there – is the latest example of the efforts of modern scientists to search for extraterrestrial life. But what scientists have expected to actually find in the course of their investigations has changed dramatically over time. Jonathan speaks with astrobiologist Tomáš Paulech, who manages the Astronomical and Geophysical observatory in Modra, about how such expectations have changed over the past couple of centuries, and where we are today in the search for life outside our own planet. Although it was way back in the 1970s that the famous Czech dissident Vaclav Benda outlined his vision of a "parallel society" within a society - one that would enable its members to live their lives in greater freedom and without government interference - it's only in the past couple of decades that we've seen the kind of technological developments that can make Benda's vision of a parallel society a reality. This according to Pavol Luptak, IT security specialist and co-founder of Paralelna Polis, a technology-oriented community with centres in Prague and Bratislava whose founders were directly inspired by Benda's writings. Jonathan caught up with Pavol recently to learn more about parallel societies and why he and his colleagues think that it's important to establish them in today's world.