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Home > Press > Jill Tarter named 2019 Lifeboat Foundation Guardian Award Winner

Abstract:
The Lifeboat Foundation Guardian Award is annually bestowed upon a respected scientist or public figure who has warned of a future fraught with dangers and encouraged measures to prevent them.

Jill Tarter named 2019 Lifeboat Foundation Guardian Award Winner

Gardnerville, NV | Posted on January 2nd, 2020

The 2019 Lifeboat Foundation Guardian Award has been given to Jill
Tarter in recognition of her 40 years spent in the Search for
Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI). Jill's goal is to learn if there
are any alien intelligences outside of our "fragile island of life" [1].
There are real dangers that could stop civilizations from moving forward
and the human race is not guaranteed to survive. As Jill says, "If
technologies don't last and persist, we will not succeed." [1]

Footnote 1: All three quotes are from Jill Tarter: Why the search for
alien intelligence matters.

Jill's efforts have helped us determine how many known civilizations
have survived advanced technology (none). Also, if any advanced
civilizations capable of living outside their home planet were
discovered then we might learn what steps we need to take to avoid our
extinction. It would be wonderful to "find ways to survive our
increasingly uncertain technological adolescence!" [1]

The datapoint of our dead universe was one of the key reasons that the
Lifeboat Foundation was founded. A universe where no civilizations have
survived advanced technologies so they could colonize the universe is a
universe where we have to be concerned that a Great Filter that causes
our extinction awaits us.

This subject is so important that Ray Kurzweil used 25 pages of his book
The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology to discuss this
topic. (Pages 342-367 in the paperback, and pages 254-271 in the
hardcover.) While Ray expects the SETI project to find nothing (because
an advanced civilization would leave a big footprint that we would
already have noticed), he says that the SETI project should have a high
priority "because the negative finding is no less important than a
positive result."

Jill is the former director of the Center for SETI Research, holding the
Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI at the SETI Institute. She earned her
Bachelor of Engineering Physics degree as an undergraduate at Cornell
University and as the only woman in the engineering program. Her
professional interest in astronomy emerged as she pursued her Master's
degree and her Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley. It was
in her Ph.D. thesis where she coined the term "brown dwarf" while
researching small-mass objects that fail to stably fuse hydrogen.

Jill's astronomical work is illustrated in Carl Sagan's novel Contact.
In the film version of Contact, the protagonist Ellie Arroway is played
by Jodie Foster. Jill conversed with the actress for months before and
during filming, and Arroway was "largely based" on her work.

Jill received two public service medals from NASA and Time Magazine
named her as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in
2004. Asteroid 74824 Tarter was also named after her.

Learn more at https://lifeboat.com/ex/guardian2019 .

####

About Lifeboat Foundation
The Lifeboat Foundation is a nonprofit nongovernmental organization
dedicated to encouraging scientific advancements while helping humanity
survive existential risks and possible misuse of increasingly powerful
technologies, including genetic engineering, nanotechnology, and
robotics/AI, as we move towards the Singularity.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Lifeboat Foundation News office
1468 James Rd
Gardnerville, NV 89460, USA
+1 775-409-3122

Copyright © Lifeboat Foundation

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

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