Brilliant! Science

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Where did the universe come from, and how widely is it inhabited?

These are some of the deeply profound questions to be addressed by several SETI Institute researchers in an upcoming series of discussions at San Francisco’s famed California Academy of Sciences. And you can come along.

It’s a chance to give your brain a workout, and your imagination a boost. You’ll also hobnob with some of the Institute’s big guns in astronomy and astrobiology.

david morrisonFor example, on Saturday morning, October 12, Dave Morrison, director of our Carl Sagan Center, will be in conversation with Eugenie Scott, of the Center for Science Education, discussing evolution. No, not the emergence of terrestrial biota … They’ll be talking about cosmic evolution, and how the universe came to be.

nathalie cabrolOn Monday evening, October 14, you can listen to Nathalie Cabrol, a SETI Institute planetary scientist, give the Benjamin Dean Lecture on the latest advances in astrobiology. After 200 thousand years of dithering around on the savannahs and in the forests, humanity is finally able to explore other worlds in situ. What have we learned, and what might we discover?

seth shostakIf you’ve heard you’re a nerd, then check out the Wednesday, October 16 evening event at the Rickshaw Stop. SETI astronomer Seth Shostak will be in conversation with Ryan Wyatt, of the California Academy … and also with you … talking about the search for life elsewhere.

jill tarterAnd finally, on Saturday morning, October 26, Seth will be back at the Academy with famed planet hunter Geoff Marcy and astronomy educator extraordinaire Andrew Fraknoi to consider what might happen if we find E.T. Will there be panic in the streets, or merely a collective yawn because, after all, TV has told us for decades that they’re out there? This crackerjack team will be kept on-topic and on-track by well-known SETI Institute researcher, Jill Tarter.

Ticket and logistic information is all here:

Check it out now, as seating for many events is extremely limited.