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January 20, 2010
Dr. Seth Shostak (SETI Institute)
A half-century ago, astronomers began trying to "eavesdrop" for radio messages from nearby star systems. Today, SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) researchers continue to point their telescopes at individual stars, on the assumption that technically advanced societies will inhabit a watery world like our own. Seth Shostak describes these searches, but then discusses some novel ideas for how we might pursue the hunt for "cosmic company" and why it's possible that we might find evidence of sophisticated intelligence out there within only a few decades. Shostak is Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute, in Mountain View, California and hosts the syndicated radio show called "Are We Alone?"