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Hamptons Observatory Virtual Lecture: “The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence” with Dr. Jill Tarter

November 10, 2022 @ 7:00 pm

Dr. Jill Tarter
Dr. Jill Tarter

Hamptons Observatory has teamed up with Suffolk County Community College to present a free, virtual lecture by Dr. Jill Tarter, co-founder of the SETI Institute.

“It is an honor to host one of the pioneers of the scientific search for extraterrestrial life. Dr. Jill  Tarter, who was one of the two employees in NASA’s SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) program and who, in 1984, co-founded the SETI Institute, has had a long, distinguished career,” said Donna L. McCormick, Hamptons Observatory’s Executive Director. “We look forward to learning from this venerable icon. We are deeply grateful to Dr. Tarter, as well as to our co-host, one of Long Island’s prominent academic institutions, for their participation in this event.” 

Sean Tvelia, Academic Chair of Physical Sciences at Suffolk County Community College and a founding Board member of Hamptons Observatory, agrees with McCormick.

“Dr. Tarter is a distinguished scientist who has explored a subject that sparks everyone’s curiosity.  We are fortunate that she will share her insights and provide us with this exceptional educational opportunity,”  he said

Dr. Jill Tarter is renown for her pioneering work as a researcher at and co-founder of the SETI Institute, where she is now Emeritus Chair for SETI Research and a Trustee. Many know her as the person who inspired the character played by Jodie Foster in the 1997 Robert Zemeckus film, Contact

Dr. Tarter has spent the majority of her professional career attempting to answer the age-old question, “Are We Alone?” by searching for evidence of technological civilizations beyond Earth. She served as Project Scientist for NASA’s SETI program, the High Resolution Microwave Survey, and has conducted numerous observational programs at radio observatories worldwide. 

In 2004, she was named one of the Time 100 Most Influential People in the World and, in 2012, one of the Time 25 in Space. She received a TED prize in 2009, two public service awards from NASA, and multiple awards for her contributions to science and science education. In 2021, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Asteroid 74824 Tarter (1999 TJ16) was named in her honor. 

Since the termination of funding for NASA’s SETI program in 1993, she has served in a leadership role to design and build the Allen Telescope Array and to secure private funding to continue the exploratory science of SETI. Her biography, Making Contact, was written by Sarah Scoles and published in 2017.

In this virtual presentation, which will begin at 7 p.m. on Nov. 10, 2022, Dr. Tarter will talk about her work with SETI and her continuing quest to find an answer to the age-old question, “Are We Alone?” 

Sean Tvelia will introduce Dr. Tarter.

Admission is free but reservations are required: https://Tarter-Talk.eventbrite.com


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