SETI: Past, Present, and Future (Finding Aliens and Finding Ourselves)
Jill Tarter, SETI Institute
TUESDAY, August 5, 2014 AT 7:00PM
Room BA201, Bricker Academic Building
Wilfrid Laurier University - 75 University Ave. W., waterloo
Are we alone? This question, perhaps more than any other, has endured throughout human history. Is life on earth an astronomical anomaly, or is the universe teeming with life – possibly other intelligent life? With new exoplanets being discovered practically every day, the existence of an “Earth 2.0” seems ever more likely, and the search for our cosmic cousins ever more worthwhile. The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) has, for decades, been scanning the sky and listening for messages from other civilizations.
In her August 5 Public Lecture, longtime SETI Director Jill Tarter will explore the program’s past and future. Whereas the search has largely concentrated on detecting signals in electromagnetic radiation from space, Tarter 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 history’s most tantalizing question. It is, she argues, one of the most profound human undertakings imaginable, with the most important possible outcomes.
Jill Tarter holds the Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California. She holds a PhD in Astronomy from the University of California, Berkeley. She 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 one of 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.
Tickets Available online Monday, July 21 at 9:00 am
Attendance is free but tickets are required.
NOTE: Max of 2 tickets may be ordered per account