There has been, until now, no compelling evidence for biology beyond the confines of our own planet. And yet people who investigate this topic feel confident that – within two decades – we will trip across life-forms that are not, and never have been, Earthlings. Why are they so optimistic that we will soon find some cosmic confreres, and what might be the implications of such a discovery?
Presenter: Dr Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer, Institute Fellow, SETI Institute and Dr. Colin Coates, Research Product Manager
Seth Shostak is the senior astronomer at the SETI Institute, in Mountain View, California. He has an undergraduate degree in physics from Princeton University, and a doctorate in astronomy from the California Institute of Technology. For much of his career, Seth conducted radio-astronomy research on galaxies, and has published approximately 60 papers in professional journals.
He has written more than 500 popular magazine, newspaper and web articles on various topics in astronomy, technology, film and television. He lectures on astronomy, and gives approximately 60 presentations annually. For a decade, he chaired the International Academy of Astronautics’ SETI Permanent Committee.
Every week he hosts the SETI Institute’s one-hour science radio show, Big Picture Science.
Seth has written, edited and contributed to six books. His most recent tome is Confessions of an Alien Hunter: a Scientist’s Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence (National Geographic), and he is co-author of a college textbook on astrobiology.
Dr. Coates holds a first-class degree in chemistry, with a postgraduate degree and postdoctoral research training from Queen’s University Belfast in Ireland, focusing primarily on time-resolved laser spectroscopic analysis of photophysical mechanisms. Dr. Coates has also led an industrial research and development team, involved in developing novel DNA microarray technologies. Dr. Coates currently maintains overall product management responsibility for Andor’s research and OEM camera/spectrograph business, encompassing scientific imaging, astronomy, spectroscopy, time-resolved and X-ray market segments.