KU News Release

April 26, 2010
Contact: Kristi Henderson, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, (785) 864-3663

'Alien hunter' to give talk at KU

LAWRENCE — Although the scientific hunt for extraterrestrial intelligence is now into its fifth decade with no confirmed contact, there is reason to expect that evidence of sophisticated civilizations might be found in the coming decades, according to a top astronomer coming to the University of Kansas.

Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute and author of “Confessions of an Alien Hunter,” will discuss the possibility of contact and what it would mean to the world in “The Scientific Search for ET” at 7 p.m. Sunday, May 9, at Alderson Auditorium in the Kansas Union.

Shostak says that new technologies used by the SETI Institute suggest that, despite the lack of signals from other societies, it might be only a few decades before traces of other civilizations are discovered. As senior astronomer, he participates in the institute’s observing programs and heads up the International Academy of Astronautics’ SETI Permanent Study Group.

Also active in efforts to interest the public in science and astrobiology, Shostak has made numerous appearances on television, including “Larry King Live,” “Nightline,” “The O’Reilly Factor” and “The Colbert Report.” He also hosts the SETI Institute’s weekly science radio show, “Are We Alone,” and has authored several books and published nearly 300 popular articles on science.

His most recent book, “Confessions of an Alien Hunter,” explores what humans could expect to discover in alien beings, including the possibility of advanced machine beings whose capabilities have developed over billions of years and far exceed those on Earth.

Shostak’s lecture is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the KU Astrobiophysics Working Group and the Center for the Study of Science Fiction.

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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