November 15, 2014 1:39 pm

This Sunday, StarTalk Live! Searches for Aliens in San Francisco

Photo of the ATA Telescope Array at Hat Creek, California, taken by Seth Shostak, Sr. Astronomer of the SETI Institute

Antennas of the Allen Telescope Array (ATA) in Hat Creek, California, a joint project of the SETI Institute and the Radio Astronomy Lab at the University of California, Berkeley. Credit: Seth Shostak, SETI Institute

There are some people who mistakenly assume the search for intelligent life in the universe is being conducted by wishful thinkers and fanatics, not serious scientists. They imagine some sort of oversized caricature of a telescope from a Bugs Bunny cartoon searching for little green men or Marvin the Martian.

Needless to say, they would be wrong.

If you know anybody like that, you should ask them to join you this Sunday when you listen to Seth Shostak, the Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute, describe the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence to guest host Bill Nye, co-host Eugene Mirman, and guest comedian Dave Foley at a performance of StarTalk Live! recorded earlier this year at SF Sketchfest.

As CEO of The Planetary Society, Bill Nye is no stranger to the subject himself, and the lively conversation between Bill and Seth is filled with discussions of radio signals, pioneering astronomer Frank Drake and the Drake Equation, the concept of “Second Genesis” and panspermia, and Sir William Herschel, who discovered Uranus. Of course, since this show was recorded live before an adult audience in San Francisco, be prepared for some suggestive language and humor as well. (And not just from Eugene and Dave!)

By the way, it’s not often that one of our StarTalk Live! shows makes it to our YouTube channel before being posted as a podcast, but that’s what happened with this one. If you don’t want to wait for Sunday night’s podcast, you can see the complete performance on YouTube. The full show is 1 hour and 20 minutes long, so we’ve preserved the set breaks and posted the show in 4 segments. You can watch the first one right here. At the end of each segment, there’s a link to the next segment, so if you’ve got the time, you can just keep on watching.

Oh, and speaking of StarTalk Live!, tickets are still available for Tuesday night’s StarTalk Live! at The Beacon Theatre in New York City. Host Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-host Eugene Mirman share the stage with Oxford Professor Emeritus and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins and comedian and NY Times Bestselling Author Jim Gaffigan at the 11/18/14 event. You can purchase tickets here.

Join us for StarTalk Live! at SF Sketchfest this Sunday, November 16 at 7:00 PM ET on our website, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn and SoundCloud.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!

–Jeffrey Simons

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