Seth Shostak

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G. Seth Shostak
Seth Shostak participating in "Death From the Skies" panel at CSICon 2011 in New Orleans
Born (1943-07-20) July 20, 1943 (age 80)
Arlington County, Virginia
Residence Mountain View, California
Nationality American
Citizenship United States
Alma mater

B.A. Princeton,

Ph.D. California Institute of Technology
Known for SETI research
Awards Klumpke-Roberts Award (2004)
Carl Sagan Prize for Science Popularization (2015)
Scientific career
Fields Physics, astronomy, science communication
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Seth Shostak (born July 20, 1943) is an American astronomer, currently Senior Astronomer for the SETI Institute and former Director of Center for SETI Research when it was a separate department.[1][2][3][4]

Biography[edit | hide | hide all]

Shostak grew up in Arlington County, Virginia,[5] and earned his B.S. in physics from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in astrophysics from the California Institute of Technology.[6] Since 2001, he has been Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to "explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe". SETI Institute, located in Mountain View, California, employs over 50 researchers that study all aspects of the search for life, its origins, the environment in which life develops, and its ultimate fate. Shostak is an active participant in the Institute's observation programs and has been hosting SETI's weekly radio show Big Picture Science[7] since 2002. Each week, Shostak interviews guests about the latest scientific research on a variety of topics: cosmology, physics, genetics, paleontology, evolutionary biology and astrobiology. Big Picture Science is distributed on the Public Radio Satellite System and the Public Radio Exchange and is available for download at the SETI Institute's website and through podcasts.

Shostak also hosts the monthly "Skeptic Check" show focused on debunking pseudoscience, UFOs and practices such as astrology and dowsing.[8]

In 2010, he was elected as a Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. He was the Chair of the International Academy of Astronautics SETI Permanent Committee from 2003-2012.[9] He has published four books, nearly 300 popular articles on astronomy, technology, film and television and gives frequent talks to both young and adult audiences.[10]

Before his involvement with SETI research, he used radio telescopes in the USA and the Netherlands, searching for clues to the ultimate fate of the universe by analyzing galaxy motion. In 1999, he produced twelve 30-minute lectures on audio-tape and video titled "The Search for Intelligent Life in Space" for The Teaching Company.

Filmography[edit | hide]

Year Title Role Notes
2008 The Day the Earth Stood Still advisor: astrobiology (crew) A remake of the 1951 classic sci-fi film about an alien visitor and his giant robot counterpart who visit Earth.
2007 Star Trek: Of Gods and Men Enterprise Communications Officer (actor) Video

Television / web series[edit | hide]

Year Title As Notes
2013 Alien Encounters (TV Mini-Series) Himself as Senior Astronomer
Episode:"The Offspring"
Episode:"The Invasion"
2012-2013 Ancient Aliens (TV Series Documentary) Himself as Senior Astronomer
Episode: "Destination Orion"
Episode:"Aliens and Cover-Ups"
Episode:"The Time Travelers"
Episode:"The NASA Connection"
2012 Science Club (TV Series) Himself - SETI Institute
2008-2012 Horizon (TV Series Documentary) Himself - SETI Institute
Episode:"The Transit of Venus: A Horizon Special"
Episode:"Are We Alone in the Universe?"
2012 Prophets of Science Fiction (TV Series Documentary) Himself Episode:"George Lucas"
2011 Curiosity (TV series documentaries) Himself Episode: Alien Invasion Are We Ready"
2010 Ideas That Changed the World[11] (TV Series Documentary) Himself Episode:"Communication"
2010 Lost Tapes (TV Series) Himself - Senior Astronomer, SETI Institute
2010 Bad Universe (TV Series Documentary) Himself Episode:"Alien Attack!"
2010 Naked Science (TV Series Documentary) Himself as Senior Astronomer Episode: "Hunt for Aliens"
Episode:"Alien Contact(2004)"
2009 The Colbert Report (TV Series) Himself (Guest) - SETI Institute
Episode:"Episode #5.70"
2007 UFO Files (TV Series Documentary) Himself - SETI Institute
Episode:"Alien Hunters"
Episode (2005):"UFO Hunters"
Episode (2005):"The Day After Roswell"
2007 The Universe (TV Series Documentary) Himself as Senior Astronomer
Episode:"Search for E.T."
2007 Is It Real? (TV Series Documentary) Himself as Astronomer
Episode: "Life on Mars"
2005 Extraterrestrial (TV Movie Documentary) Himself - SETI Institute
"SETI Institute"
2005 How William Shatner Changed the World (TV Movie Documentary) Himself - SETI Institute
"SETI Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence"
1998 Life Beyond Earth[12] (TV Movie Documentary) Science Advisor (crew) Written by Timothy Ferris for Public Broadcasting Service

Recognition[edit | hide]

The 2004 winner of the Klumpke-Roberts Award awarded by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the public understanding and appreciation of astronomy.[13]

In January 2010 he was elected as a Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.[14]

He has been an observer for Project Phoenix (SETI) as well as an active participant in various international forums for SETI research. He served as Chair of the International Academy of Astronautics SETI Permanent Study Group from 2002 to 2012.[15]

Shostak has been nominated by the SETI Institute to be one of the USA Science and Engineering Festival's Nifty Fifty Speakers who will speak about his work and career to middle and high school students in October 2010.[5]

Personal life[edit | hide]

Shostak's hobbies include film making, railroading, and computer animation. While working at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands he founded DIGIMA, a computer animation company.[13] He is a brother of Robert Shostak, developer of Paradox (database).

In the spring of 1988 Seth left Groningen to help his brother, who was then working on image database software in Silicon Valley.[16]

According to his C.V., Shostak has a considerable body of creative writing, mostly for corporate clients. He was also "idea man" behind a plan to build a large space and technology theme park in The Netherlands and also the Air and Space Exhibit at the California Science Center, where he also serves on the board.[17]

Bibliography[edit | hide]

References[edit | hide]

  1. Shostak, Seth (21 May 2014). "Using Radio in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence" (PDF). US Congress. Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  2. Kleineidam, Alina (21 May 2014). "Astronomers tell Congress they're almost certain ET exists". ABC News. Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  3. "SETI Research, Senior Management". 2 December 2014. 
  4. Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcast 582 2016-09-03
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Nifty Fifty". Archived from the original on 29 April 2012. Retrieved 12 October 2011. 
  6. "Shostak, Seth". SETI Institute. Retrieved 12 October 2011. 
  7. Seth, Shostak. "Big Picture Science". SETI Institute. Retrieved 25 January 2014. 
  8. "Big Picture Science". About...Big Picture Science. Archived from the original on 1 October 2011. Retrieved 12 October 2011. 
  9. "IAA SETI Permanent Committee: Minutes". 
  10. Shostak, Seth. "Seth Shostak: ET is (probably) out there -- get ready". 
  11. Ideas That Changed the World on IMDb Script error: No such module "EditAtWikidata".
  12. Life Beyond Earth on IMDb Script error: No such module "EditAtWikidata".
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Seth Shostak". Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: GALE Literature Resource Center. 2010. 
  14. "Sixteen Notable Figures in Science and Skepticism Elected CSI Fellows". Retrieved 2011-08-07. 
  15. "IAA SETI Permanent Committee". The SETI League. Retrieved 13 October 2011. 
  16. [
    1. REDIRECT Template:Nl icon Nieuwsblad van het Noorden, March 25, 1988]
  17. Shostak, Seth. "Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). 
  18. Kaufman, Marc (15 March 2009). "Book Review: Confessions of an Alien Hunter by Seth Shostak". Washington Post. 

External links[edit | hide]

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This article uses material from Seth Shostak on Wikipedia (view authors). License under CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikipedia logo


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