SETI Institute at a Glance

  • The SETI Institute was founded in 1984 and is a 501(c) 3 organization.

  • The Institute employs about 140 people, primarily scientists, in a variety of fields including all science and technology aspects of astronomy and the planetary sciences, chemical evolution, the origin of life, biological evolution, and cultural evolution.

  • The Institute conducts the world's most comprehensive work in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). 

  • The Allen Telescope Array is a professional-class radio telescope allowing full-time SETI observing as well as simultaneous radio astronomy research. The array is being built using a novel combination of mass-production and specialized technology and, when completed, will be among the world's largest observing instruments. The SETI Institute is building the Allen Telescope Array in partnership with the University of California, Berkeley.

  • All SETI activities have been privately funded since 1993. There is currently no government funding of SETI in the United States. Since 1993, Institute projects have received more than $55 million in private support from individuals, corporations and foundations.

  • The Carl Sagan Center at the SETI Institute currently hosts more than 50 research projects in Astrobiology, including

    • Stars and Galaxies
    • Interstellar Medium
    • Mars
    • Saturn
    • Our Solar System
    • Extremophiles
    • Planet Detection and Formation
    • Instrument Development
    • Chemistry of Life
  • The SETI Institute is a leading producer of science education programs. Among such programs is Voyages Through Time, a comprehensive science curriculum, currently supported by the National Science Foundation and private funding, and the Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a program subcontracted by USRA to the SETI Institute.

  • The SETI Institute conducts an active outreach and public information program, E/PO. In addition to numerous appearances on radio and television, SETI Institute scientists have taught and lectured at a variety of schools, museums and science centers throughout the United States and abroad. The SETI Institute produces a popular weekly science radio show, Big Picture Science, which can be downloaded via iTunes or the show's web site.

  • The SETI  Institute hosts a weekly colloquium series, where scientists, engineers, and researchers are invited to speak on a variety of topics. The shows are recorded and can be downloaded from YouTube.