SETI Institute in the news August 30 - September 5, 2018

SETI Institute in the news August 30 - September 5, 2018

Andrew Siemion with Drex
Andrew Siemion featured on The Shift Podcast Show with Drex
Andrew Siemion on The Shift

Andrew Siemion, who was appointed as the Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI Research at the SETI Institute in April, appeared on The Shift with Drex, a Canadian radio talk show. Siemion, who is also the director of the Berkeley SETI Research Center, spoke with Drex about the public’s changing attitudes about SETI, especially in light of the discovery that our universe appears to be rich in planetary systems. Listen to hear the conversation about everything from the Drake Equation to speculations on alien technology.

Image of the podcast's hosts wearing mustaches‘Curious Cases’ with Seth Shostak

Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the SETI Institute, recently appeared as a guest on the BBC’s Radio 4 show and podcast, The Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry. The show tackles “everyday mysteries sent by listeners” and tackled the question of extraterrestrial life. Listen to hear Shostak’s insights into the question, “are intelligent aliens out there?”, and be sure to check out the SETI Institute’s own podcast and radio show, Big Picture Science.

Image of Viking 2 LanderThe Case for Life on Mars

With all that we’ve learned about Mars recently, many are hopeful that signs of life, past or present, will one day be detected somewhere in its harsh environment. In fact, one researcher in particular - Gilbert Levin, principal investigator of the 1976 Viking landers Label Release (LR) life-detection experiment – believes life on Mars is a foregone conclusion. Levin believes his own experiment’s results, as well as the bevy of data gathered about the red planet since, make a strong circumstantial case that microbial life exists on Mars today. While this claim goes further than most researchers are willing to endorse, many have moved away from the opposite claim: that Mars is and has always been lifeless.

Space.com spoke to John Rummel, senior scientist at the SETI Institute and former NASA Planetary Protection Officer, about the Viking mission and the future of life-detection on Mars:

"Fundamentally, there is nothing new about Mars that wasn't possible with Viking, but it is a long way from Chryse or Utopia [the two Viking landing spots on Mars in 1976] to the sub-polar-cap lake now claimed by the Italians."

Rummel also expounded on the need for scientific leadership and advocacy in life-detection missions.

 
Big Picture Science

In last week’s episode, discover the origins of modern-day hacking in an encore of Plan of a Hack. On our previous week’s episode, find higher ground while you listen to the science of rising sea levels in New Water Worlds.

Facebook Live

Last week on Facebook Live, SETI Institute scientist Kathryn Bywaters discussed her work in life detection instrumentation with CEO Bill Diamond. On our previous episode of Facebook Live, SETI Institute CEO Bill Diamond spoke with the 2018 Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) students as they prepared for their final presentations of the summer. Videos of all past Facebook Live events can be found on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SETIInstitute/

Events
  • Astronomical Society of the Pacific Annual Meeting: September 10-13, Rohnert Park, CA Molly Bentley, co-host of Big Picture Science, will participate in a panel discussion
  • SETI Talks: September 13, Menlo Park, CA Human Exploration to Mars – Becoming Interplanetary Dava Newman, SETI Institute trustee and former Deputy Director of NASA will be joined by Nathalie Cabrol, Director of the Carl Sagan Center at the SETI Institute, Jennifer Heldmann at NASA Ames Research Center, and Jaya Bajpayee, Deputy Director of Science at NASA Ames Research Center
  • Astronomy Night: Searching for Aliens, Finding Ourselves: September 15, Mill Valley, CA Jill Tarter is the featured speaker
  • XVIth Hvar Astrophysical Colloquium: September 24-28, Hvar, Croatia Meng Jin, SETI Institute Research Scientist will be one of the invited speakers; his presentation is "Sun-to-Earth Modeling of CMEs with a Global MHD Model: Facilitating Physical Understanding and Space Weather Forecasting."
  • NASA Technosignatures Workshop: September 26-28, Houston, TX SETI Institute President & CEO Bill Diamond, and Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI at the SETI Institute Andrew Siemion will participate
  • Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics: September 28, Santa Cruz, CA SETI Institute scientist JR Skok will give a talk about the search for life in the Martian Hot Springs
  • The World Above the Tetons Science Speaker Series: September 29, Teton Village, WY Jill Tarter will present Communicating Beyond Earth
  • International Astronautical Conference: October 1-5, Bremen, Germany John Rummel, Senior Scientist at the SETI Institute will be chairing a session
  • Maria Mitchell Women in Science Symposium: October 5-6, Wellesley, MA Jill Tarter will be a keynote speaker
  • Wired 25th Anniversary Festival: October 12-15, San Francisco, CA Jill Tarter, co-founder of the SETI Institute, will take part in the festival and present "The 21st Century: The Century of Biology on Earth and Beyond"
  • Fermilab Arts and Lecture Series: October 12, Batavia, IL Jill Tarter, SETI pioneer and Chair Emeritus for SETI Research at the SETI Institute will present
  • Kepler, K2, TESS and Beyond: October 24, Bremerton, WA Jeff Coughlin, SETI Institute scientist and Director of the K2 Science Office, will giving a public talk at Olympic College in Bremerton, WA.