Senior Astronomer, SETI Institute (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence)
2017 Speaker • 2016 Speaker • 2019 Speaker

Mountain View, California

Seth Shostak is senior astronomer at the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute in Silicon Valley, engaged in the scientific search for extraterrestrial intelligence. This subject has been known to incite otherwise rational folk to claim that aliens are buzzing the countryside and occasionally making unholy advances on their person. Since this happens more frequently in Colorado than elsewhere, Shostak expects continuing spirited discussion of this controversial topic.

Shostak spent the majority of his increasingly lengthy life studying galaxies using radio telescopes. At some point he realized that the hardware he was using to plumb the depths of the universe could also be turned to the task of seeking intelligent cosmic company. He now occupies himself with the efforts to eavesdrop on alien radio broadcasts.

Shostak has written 600 popular articles on astronomy, film, technology and sundry other enervating topics. His popular tome Confessions of an Alien Hunter describes the scientific effort to prove that we’re not alone in the universe. He has also co-authored a college textbook on astrobiology with a Boulder-based writer, and trusts that it has a modestly positive effect on young minds. Shostak’s background is eclectic and encompasses such diverse activities as filmmaking, railroading and computer animation. He hosts a weekly radio show/podcast, Big Picture Science. A frequent lecturer and sound-bite artist on television and radio, he can occasionally be heard to lament the fact that, according to his own estimate, he was born two generations too soon to benefit from the cure for death.