Do Any Exoplanets Have Intelligent Occupants?

Sunday June 24th, 2012
9:30 am
Ballroom A

Buy the Panel Discussion DVD


Jon M. Jenkins - the Analysis Lead for Kepler, which means that he heads up a group of about two dozen scientists and programmers who designed and built the software that makes this dramatic search for other worlds possible. With a brightness precision of 20 parts per million, Kepler should be able to discover planets that are the same size as the rocky, inner orbs of our own solar system. By making an inventory of such worlds, Kepler will answer one of the most intriguing questions in astrobiology: are Earth-size planets abundant or rare?
Jill TarterJill Tarter - Jill directs the SETI Institute’s searches for intelligent life elsewhere, and is the holder of the Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI. She is one of the few researchers to have devoted her career to hunting for signs of sentient beings elsewhere, and led Project Phoenix, a decade-long SETI scrutiny of about 750 nearby star systems, using telescopes in Australia, West Virginia and Puerto Rico. She has also been the motive force behind the construction of the Allen Telescope Array, an instrument able to increase both the speed and the spectral search range of the Institute’s hunt for radio signals.  There are few aspects of the modern SETI effort that have not been affected by Jill’s work. Buy Jill Tarter's SETIcon II Interview DVD
Dan Werthimer - is co-founder and chief scientist of the SETI@home project and directs other UC Berkeley SETI searches at radio, infrared and visible wavelengths, including the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Radio Emissions from Nearby Developed Intelligent Populations (SERENDIP). He is also the principal investigator for the worldwide Collaboration for Astronomy Signal Processing and Electronics Research (CASPER). Werthimer has taught courses at universities in Peru, Egypt, Ghana, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Kenya. He has published numerous papers in the fields of SETI, radio astronomy, instrumentation and science education; he is co-author of "SETI 2020" and editor of "Astronomical and Biochemical Origins and the Search for Life in the Universe".


Gerry Harp - Trained as quantum mechanic, Gerry found the possibilities of using the multiple antennas of the Allen Telescope Array to generate beams on the sky – beams that could be far smaller than any single antenna could produce – remarkably exciting. Lured to the SETI Institute by this instrument’s intriguing possibilities, he’s undertaken many studies on beam formation (for SETI research). These include the Array’s ability to produce “negative” beams – useful for cancelling out, or “rejecting”, signals from such man-made noise makers as telecommunications satellites and the on-site, observatory computers.