Yesterday the SETI Institute grabbed some headlines with the announcement that Jill Tarter is retiring as the Director of the Center for SETI Research. Naturally, I thought, time to break out the camera and head to Mountainview. Production of A Life’s Work is not over!
But beyond the headline there is this:
“For many years working at the SETI Institute I’ve worn two hats: the Bernard Oliver chair, and the Director of the Center for SETI Research,” said Tarter, who was a prototype for the character Ellie Arroway in Carl Sagan’s novel and film Contact. “My colleague Dr. Gerry Harp will step into the directorship role to continue our strong tradition of excellent research, freeing me up to focus on finding stable funding for it. I want to make the endowment of SETI research a success, so that my colleagues now, and in the future, can focus on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence for all of us.”
When I interviewed Tarter she spoke very passionately about securing an endowment for SETI. Here’s a very, very, very hastily edited clip wherein Tarter addresses the joy of SETI research and the need for SETI funding. I couldn’t resist adding that little bit at the end. I really enjoyed Tarter’s sense of humor.
So, should I be rushing out to interview Tarter on this latest development? The short answer is no. You can read the long answer in this post: Is Production Really Over?
If you’re interested in SETI updates, why not visit the A Life’s Work Facebook page and like it. I post plenty of links to SETI news, as well as lots of other interesting things related to the subject of the film.