Free Public Lecture on SETI by Seth Shostak
January 20, 2010 @ 12:00 am EST
A half-century ago, astronomers began trying to "eavesdrop" for radio messages from nearby star systems. This was the start of the scientific SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) program, looking for other civilizations in the universe. The discovery of over 400 planets around other stars (including a number super-Earths) has provided a new foundation for this search. However, today, SETI researchers continue to point their telescopes at individual stars, on the assumption that technically advanced societies will inhabit a watery world like our own. Seth Shostak will describe these searches, but then ask a controversial question: Are these familiar -- and nearby -- star systems the only (or even the best) places to look for signals? He will go on to discuss some novel ideas for how we might pursue the hunt for "cosmic company" and why its possible that we might find evidence of sophisticated intelligence out there within only a few decades.
No background in science will be required for
this talk. Seating is first come, first served.
Part of the 11th Annual Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures
in the Smithwick Theater, Foothill College,
El Monte Road and Freeway 280,
in Los Altos Hills, California.
Free and open to the public.
Parking on campus costs $2 and
you should leave some time to get a parking sticker.
Seth Shostak is Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute, in Mountain View, California and one of the best public lecturers in astronomy today. If you have never heard one of his energetic and humorous talks, you are in for a treat. He appears regularly on national radio and television programs, hosts his own syndicated radio show called "Are We Alone?" (broadcast locally on KALW each week), and has written hundreds of popular magazine and web articles. He has an undergraduate degree in physics from Princeton University, and a doctorate in astronomy from the California Institute of Technology. He lectures on astronomy and other subjects at Stanford and other venues in the Bay Area, and for the last six years, has been a Distinguished Speaker for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. His most recent book is “Confessions of an Alien Hunter: A Scientist’s Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence” (National Geographic).