On August 5, join longtime Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute Director Jill Tarter for an exploration of the program’s past and future as it seeks to answer the question: are we alone?

July 30, 2014 (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada) – Are we alone in the universe? For decades, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute has sought to answer this question. On Aug. 5, longtime SETI Institute Director Jill Tarter will take a public lecture audience on the journey through SETI’s past, present, and future, as it tries to answer history’s most tantalizing question.

Part of the International Conference on Women in Physics, Tarter’s lecture, called “SETI: Past, Present, and Future (Finding Aliens and Finding Ourselves)” will discuss new collaborations and ideas, such as detecting information-carrying photons, or developing a “genomic SETI.” She will also explore why, in a world of instant communication and short-term thinking, it’s more crucial than ever to undertake and support decades-spanning research into what Tarter calls one of the most profound human undertakings imaginable.

Tarter holds the Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California. She holds a PhD in Astronomy from the University of California, Berkeley, and has served as Project Scientist for NASA’s SETI program, the High Resolution Microwave Survey, and has conducted numerous observational programs at radio observatories worldwide.

Tarter’s work has brought her wide recognition in the scientific community, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from Women in Aerospace and two Public Service Medals from NASA. In 2004, Time Magazine named her among the Time 100 most influential people in the world. She was the inspiration behind the character of Ellie Arroway in Carl Sagan’s novel Contact, and the subsequent film starring Jodie Foster.

This lecture will be held in the Bricker Academic Building at Wilfrid Laurier University on Tuesday, August 5, 2014, at 7:00 PM ET.


L'Institut Périmètre est le plus grand centre de recherche en physique théorique au monde. Fondé en 1999, cet institut indépendant vise à favoriser les percées dans la compréhension fondamentale de notre univers, des plus infimes particules au cosmos tout entier. Les recherches effectuées à l’Institut Périmètre reposent sur l'idée que la science fondamentale fait progresser le savoir humain et catalyse l'innovation, et que la physique théorique d'aujourd'hui est la technologie de demain. Situé dans la région de Waterloo, cet établissement sans but lucratif met de l'avant un partenariat public-privé unique en son genre avec entre autres les gouvernements de l'Ontario et du Canada. Il facilite la recherche de pointe, forme la prochaine génération de pionniers de la science et communique le pouvoir de la physique grâce à des programmes primés d'éducation et de vulgarisation.


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