Love is a complicated combination of brain chemicals and behavior that scientists are only just beginning to figure out. And it's remarkable that in every society that we have looked at on Earth, romantic love exists. So if love is so universal, and there are 7 billion other people out there looking for it, why can it seem like it's so hard to find?

In this episode, we'll look at what we can learn about the search for love from the search for extraterrestrial life. We'll start with Enrico Fermi's paradox of why we haven't been contacted by any extraterrestrials yet, and then at Frank Drake's equation to estimate the number of civilizations that might exist in our galaxy (updated with current numbers). Finally, we'll meet a young lady named Ann and see if we can calculate how many special someones there might be out there for her. It's a cosmic love story!

References for this episode:

Have an idea for an episode or an amazing science question you want answered? Leave a comment below!

Tweet at me: @jtotheizzoe
Email me: itsokaytobesmart [at] gmail [dot] com
For more awesome science, check out:

Written and hosted by Joe Hanson
Produced by Painted On Productions (

Clips from this episode:
Carl Sagan - All the -illions:

Music from this episode:
Johnny Ripper's "Family."