Dr. Seth Shostak

December 18, 2006

SETI Institute Senior Astronomer

Seth is an astronomer with a BA in physics from Princeton and a PhD in astronomy from Caltech, and is involved with the Institute's SETI research.  But he's also responsible for much of the outreach activities of the Institute. He is science editor for "The Explorer", gives more than 50 talks annually for both academic and general audiences, and writes magazine articles (and books) about SETI. He also teaches informal education classes on astronomy and other topics in the Bay Area, and is the inventor of the electrical banana, a circumstance he claims has had little positive effect on his life.  He is the host for the SETI Institute's weekly radio program Are We Alone?

Before coming to SETI, Seth did research work on galaxies using radio telescopes at observatories and universities in America and Europe. His avocations include photography, filmmaking, and electronics.

Seth has produced a series of lectures on tape and video on the subject of SETI. For more information visit the  Teaching Company website.

Seth Shostak is Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute, and has been an observer for Project Phoenix as well as an active participant in various international forums for SETI research. He is a frequent presenter of the Institute’s work in the media, through lectures, and via the Institute’s weekly radio show, Are We Alone?, for which he’s the host. Each Sunday night, Shostak interviews guests who are on the bleeding edge of science discovery and technological advance. The show gives callers the opportunity to ask questions of the world’s foremost experts in astrobiology and space exploration.


Shostak readily translates the most complex scientific discoveries into terms accessible to the non-scientist. He has written hundreds of articles for newspapers, magazines, and the SPACE.com web site, as well as three books, including a popular textbook on astrobiology. Recently awarded the Klumpke-Roberts Award by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the public understanding and appreciation of astronomy, Shostak is also Chair of the International Academy of Astronautics SETI Permanent Study Group. As a practicing scientist personally engaged in SETI observations, his technical expertise—combined with his quick wit and engaging personality—make him a sought-after speaker and writer.


- SETI Institute Explorer, Special Edition 2005



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