Desktop Diaries: Jill Tarter

“Someone described my office as an eight-year-old’s daydream,” says Jill Tarter, astronomer and the inspiration for the protagonist in Carl Sagan’s Contact. As the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute’s first employee, Tarter has accumulated E.T.-themed office ornaments for the last 30 years — including a bottle of wine to be opened “only upon detection of Extraterrestrial signal.”

Meet the Producer

About Flora Lichtman

Flora Lichtman is host of the podcast Every Little Thing. She’s a former Science Friday multimedia producer.

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10 Questions for Jill Tarter, Astronomer

The long-time SETI astronomer discusses the search for extraterrestrial intelligence and helping inspire a Carl Sagan novel.

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