SETIcon: Where Science and Imagination Meet

This weekend the world-renowned SETI Institute will host the first ever public convention on the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence grounded within science fact and science fiction.

This weekend the world-renowned SETI Institute will host the first ever public convention on the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence grounded within science fact and science fiction.

August 13-15th science fans, experts, influential thinkers and celebrities will come together in one of the most anticipated scientific events of 2010 to present a unique and dynamic program dedicated to one of humanity’s most profound questions: “Are we alone?”

SETI Institute scientists and colleagues from around the country—with expertise in such fields as astrobiology, astrophysics, planetary geology, and radio astronomy—conduct some of the most groundbreaking and innovative research in their fields. These experts will be helping to celebrate the Institute’s 25th Anniversary by extending a public invitation to share their insight. Everyone interested in “the search” is welcome to join the dialogue at the convention.

SETIcon is an event for the entire family and includes traditional science presentations, interactive Q & A forums, and fun activities, such as a Guitar Hero competition hosted by some of SETI Institute’s most celebrated scientists and guests.

Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart has worked with Nobel Laureate George Smoot and the SETI Institute’s Jill Tarter on a special musical composition called “Rhythms of the Universe.” Hart will introduce a preview showing of this work-in-progress at a Friday evening event during SETIcon.

This weekend’s event will also serve as the location for SETI Institute’s 25th Anniversary celebration, and will feature a banquet Saturday evening paying tribute to SETI pioneer Frank Drake who conducted the first SETI experiment, Project OZMA 50 years ago.

SETIcon’s arrival marks an important time in our history when astronomers have found planets around hundreds of other stars, and public interest and anticipation is mounting over the prospect of discovering life beyond Earth.

Tickets are still available (detailed event and purchasing information below). Come participate in this extraordinary weekend and hear real answers to pressing questions on the search for life in the Universe.

The SETI Institute’s 1st Annual SETIcon

August 13 – 15, 2010

Hyatt Regency Hotel, Santa Clara, California

Only per day or for a weekend pass.

Go to for more information and tickets.

A few of the fascinating panels scheduled for the weekend:

  •     Looking for a Few Good Earths: Finding Our Counterpart Among the Stars
  •     Was Stephen Hawking Right: Should We Not Broadcast to Extraterrestrial Civilizations?
  •     Multiverses: Is One Cosmos Enough?
  •     Should Pluto be Considered a Planet?
  •     Why Are There No Tourists from Other Worlds?
  •     White Lab Coats and Gray Aliens: Images of Scientists and Extraterrestrials in the Popular Media
  •     Asteroid Armageddon: Will The Kind of Rock that Obliterated the Dinosaurs Get Us Next?
  •     Should Humans Explore the Moon and the Planets or Do We Leave it to Robots?
  •     Is Doomsday 2012 For Real or Will you Still Have to Pay Taxes in 2013?
  •     Do We Have to Learn Klingon: How Will We Communicate with ET?
  •     Secrets of the Red Planet: What Have We Learned from Mars Exploration?

Guest speakers include:

  •     Rusty Schweickart, the Apollo astronaut, who now devotes his life to saving the Earth from future asteroid impacts
  •     Frank Drake, the astronomer who undertook the first project to listen for alien radio messages and founded the SETI field 50 years ago
  •     Michael Brown, who discovered large worlds beyond Pluto and helped kick Pluto out of the “planet club”
  •     Robert J. Sawyer, the award-winning science fiction writer who has written some of the best novels about alien contact
  •     David Morrison, the NASA astronomer who is trying to calm public fears about the so-called “Doomsday 2012” idea
  •     Debra Fischer, one of the top planet hunters in the world, co-discoverer of the first system of planets around another star
  •     Alex Filippenko, who helped discover the “dark energy” that is speeding up the expansion of the entire universe
  •     Jill Tarter, the leader of the quest to find signals from alien civilizations (on whom Jodie Foster’s character in Contact is based)
  •     Tim Russ, who played Tuvak on Star Trek: Voyager, and who is an avid amateur astronomer
  •     Mary Roach, author of several best sellers and the forthcoming “Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void”

SETIcon benefits the non-profit SETI Institute, and its programs in science and education. In 2010 the Institute is celebrating its 25th year or scientific research and public outreach.

For more information and media inquiries for this event, please contact Barbara Vance at bvance(at)seti(dot)org or 650-960-4531.


Posted On: (Vocus) August 11, 2010

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