Senior astronomer at the SETI Institute in California, Seth Shostak is engaged in the scientific search for extraterrestrial intelligence. This subject has been known to incite otherwise rational folk to claim that visitors from deep space are buzzing the countryside and occasionally hauling innocent persons out of their bedrooms.
Shostak spent the early decades of his dismayingly lengthy life studying galaxies using radio telescopes. At some point during these scholarly activities, he realized that this same hardware could also be turned to the task of seeking intelligent cosmic company. His day job now encompasses efforts to eavesdrop on alien broadcasts.
He has written four hundred popular articles on astronomy, film, technology, and other enervating topics. He has also assaulted the public with three inoffensive trade books on the efforts by scientists to prove that we're not alone in the universe. With a Boulder-based coauthor, he has written a textbook that he claims has had a modestly positive effect on college students. He also hosts a weekly, one-hour radio show entitled Big Picture Science, boasting a world-wide audience.
Shostak's background encompasses such diverse activities as filmmaking, railroading, and computer animation. A frequent lecturer and sound bite artist on television and radio, he can occasionally be heard lamenting the fact that, according to his own estimate, he was born two generations too soon to benefit from the cure for death. He is the inventor of the electric banana, a fact that he insists has had little positive effect on his lifestyle.