The Seti Institute: Denied By Controversy

993 words - 4 pages

The universe, a vast, ever-expanding space full of mystery, just waiting to be discovered. With the mystery comes speculation; a multitude of researchers focus on one question, are there extraterrestrials out there? While highly controversial, scientists with the help of SETI have proved that this is possible. In order to be prepared for the possible ETs, researchers at SETI work constantly to find answers. Because of the growing research that Extraterrestrial Intelligence is possible, SETI, a credible organization, should receive funding from the government to continue their research.
The SETI Institute, a non-profit organization, was founded by Tom Pierson in 1984, beginning its ...view middle of the document...

Dennis Overbye, of New York Times, writes that, “Politics and the recession have crimped astronomers' budgets and left the institute's scientists with a kind of siege mentality. Last spring, the University of California ran out of money to run the Hat Creek observatory, forcing the Allen telescopes into hibernation.” (Overbye). Keeping an observatory running as well as paying salaries of astronomers is quite costly, this is what hit the SETI observatory at Hat Creek so hard. While the faces behind the SETI institute were disheartened, the got a glimpse of hope from the government that shunned them in the early 90’s. The United States military requested part time use of observatory’s antennas, telescopes, and scanners (for searching for space garbage purposes), and in return they would pay SETI for the time. Perhaps this is one step in the positive direction for SETI’s life.
SETI Institute is the home to a large handful of astronomers and researchers, sixty-eight to be exact, who all work towards the same goal, locating extraterrestrial intelligence. First off, to introduce the Bernard Oliver Chair, previously the Director of SETI Research. She was named in the Time 100 (2004) as one of the most influential people in the world, her name is Jill Tarter. Tarter hold a multitude of awards and recognitions for her research and work with the SETI Institute. She has earned degrees in Engineering Physics and a Ph.D. in Astronomy from University of California-Berkeley, which is the university that SETI works with today for their observatory. In a letter to New Scientist, she writes, “We could look for life on Earth 2.0 via "technosignatures" such as radio signals produced by intelligent life. These would be cheaper and easier to find than biosignatures. It is a long shot, but one that is affordable and we can do it now. In fact the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) has been on the case since the 1990s” (Jill Tarter). A person can tell that she is truly...

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