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Space Science

SETI Pioneer Jill Tarter Retires 82

ananyo writes "After 35 years, astronomer Jill Tarter is retiring from the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) — a field she helped pioneer and popularize, most recently at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California. Tarter, who inspired the late Carl Sagan to create the fictional character Ellie Arroway, heroine of the book and movie Contact, says she will instead focus her efforts on what she calls 'the search for intelligent funding.'"
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SETI Pioneer Jill Tarter Retires

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  • by MacTO ( 1161105 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @04:32AM (#40097749)

    The SETI Institute does solicit private funding. There also is nothing preventing private projects from popping up to monitor radio signals. Please inform yourself, rather than spewing inaccurate ideology.

  • by khallow ( 566160 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @05:01AM (#40097859)

    No letting the free market fund this would be a first.

    Already happened. The SETI Institute has been in the market for almost twenty years. The market may be far from "free" and I see that the Institute wouldn't spurn public funding, if it came their way. But the Institute has depended heavily on private funding and resources for almost 20 years. That's as free market as you're going to get in today's economic and political climate for research.

  • by guttentag ( 313541 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @09:55AM (#40099203) Journal

    Where is the profit in finding ET? Even if you come up with an answer, then how do you limit the profit to those who make the discovery.

    The people who first make contact can set up a theme park in Orlando that functions as a kind of extraterrestrial petting zoo. You charge people for admission, extra for activities like Pet-An-Alien, Ride-An-Alien, Family-Photo-With-An-Alien (with relevant props like laser guns, gold-pressed latinum, and oversized copies of To Serve Man). Sell freeze-dried ice cream in the gift shop and copies of the Beatles white album in the aliens' equivalent of an MP3, known as Ogg-Vorbis.

    There are plenty of ways to profit off this! You just have to think like a corporation.

Love may laugh at locksmiths, but he has a profound respect for money bags. -- Sidney Paternoster, "The Folly of the Wise"