Listening for E.T.
If ET phones Earth, Eric Korpela might be the guy who takes the call. Eric is the Director of SETI@home at the Berkeley SETI Research Center. SETI, the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, is the effort to find signs of intelligent life beyond our own Earth. But far from tin-foil-hatted mad scientists in isolated labs, or UFO enthusiasts posting grainy videos of shiny things in the sky on YouTube, SETI is a serious endeavor bringing scientists and engineers together from across the world in an attempt to answer one of humanity’s oldest questions: Are we alone?
With the popularity of TV shows like “Ancient Aliens”, and the continuing presence of extraterrestrials of a huge variety of shapes, sizes, and temperaments in Hollywood blockbusters, it’s clear that there is public interest in this topic. In fact, ever since humans first looked at the sky, we have told ourselves stories about the beings that live there and control our destinies — stories which sometimes survive in one form or another in the modern era.