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Seth Shostak: The Search for Intelligent Life Among the Stars – New Strategies

The Arecibo Observatory is a radio telescope in the municipality of Arecibo, Puerto Rico.

The Arecibo Observatory is a radio telescope in the municipality of Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Credit: PD-USGOV-DOC-NOAA.

In this talk hosted by the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures, Dr. Seth Shostak talks about the search for intelligent life in the universe.

A half-century ago, astronomers began trying to “eavesdrop” for radio messages from nearby star systems. Today, SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) 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 describes these searches, but then discusses some novel ideas for how we might pursue the hunt for “cosmic company” and why it’s possible that we might find evidence of sophisticated intelligence out there within only a few decades. Shostak is Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute, in Mountain View, California and hosts the syndicated radio show called “Are We Alone?”

Founded in 1999, the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures are presented on selected Wednesday evenings during the school year at Foothill College, in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley.

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