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Jill Tarter and The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

Posted by Hannah Conrad on March 31st, 2014

Guest: Jill Tarter, Bernard M. Oliver Chair, SETI Institute

Host: Karen Bartleson, Sr. Director, Community Marketing, Synopsys Inc.

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We made the hop and a skip over to the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute to meet with SETI’s Bernard M. Oliver Chair, Jill Tarter. Do you remember the movie, “Contact”, will Jodi Foster? Well, Jill is the *real* Jodie Foster. She has dedicated her life’s work to asking questions for which we all want answers.

Are we unique? Is the nearest technology or life so far away that we are basically alone? Or is there intelligence outside our world? Jill Tarter takes us inside the world of SETI and talks about the science that happens at SETI, how they go about looking for intelligence outside of earth, and what would happen if we find signals that indicate there really are intelligent beings out there.

If you are interested in being involved in the search, Jill will tell you how you can become one of SETI’s Citizen Scientists.

“In looking for extraterrestrial intelligence, we can’t really define intelligence. So, what we do is we use technology as our proxy. What we’re looking for is evidence of someone else’s technology doing something to their environment in ways that we could sense over interstellar distances.”

During the show, Jill talks about:

  • The kind of science done at SETI.
  • Whether or not we can know that is life elsewhere.
  • The tools that are used as they search for extraterrestrial intelligence.
  • How SETI handles the massive amounts of data.
  • SETI’s Citizen Scientist Program.
  • How often they receive new and interesting signals.
  • What will happen the moment someone locates a signal that is not occurring naturally.

Links of interest:

SETI Institute

Contact, the movie

About Jill Tarter

SETI Live (Citizen Scientist)

Support SETI

Jill Tarter and Karen Bartleson

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