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February 21 Lecture – Searching for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

 

Science at Cal Lecture Series

Searching for Extraterrestrial Intelligence: The Quest to Find Ourselves Among the Stars

with Dr. Andrew Siemion

SaturdayFebruary 21, 2015 at 11:00 AM
100  Genetics & Plant Biology, UC Berkeley

For millennia, humans have pondered their place in the cosmos and asked the question “Are we alone?” Now, for the first time in our history, the answer may be within our grasp. In the last several decades, astronomers have determined that the key environmental factors that gave rise to life on Earth are present in abundance throughout the Milky Way galaxy. Long lived stars, planets, water and complex organic molecules are known to be ubiquitous. Armed with the certainty that life could have developed elsewhere, scientists everywhere are racing to determine if indeed it did, and if so, whether some of that life went on to develop a technological capability similar to our own.

In this public lecture, Dr. Andrew Siemion will discuss the history of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), the latest developments in the science of astrobiology that are informing modern SETI and the prospects for dramatic advances in the field using the latest generation of world-class telescopes, including the Square Kilometer Array.

Dr. Andrew Siemion

Dr. Andrew Siemionis a Project Scientist at the UC Berkeley Center for SETI Research and is jointly affiliated with The Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON) and Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands. Dr. Siemion’s research interests include studies of time-variable celestial phenomena, astronomical instrumentation and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). Dr. Siemion was a recipient of the UC Berkeley Mary Elizabeth Uhl Dissertation Prize for his work on searches for exotic radio phenomena. He is an elected member of the International Union of Radio Science and serves on the Science@Cal Advisory Board, the Working Group for Cradle of Life and Transient Science with the Square Kilometer Array and the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Investing in Research on SETI Science and Technology (FIRSST).