The mission of the SETI Institute is to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe.
We believe we are conducting the most profound search in human history — to know our beginnings and our place among the stars.
The SETI Institute is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to scientific research, education and public outreach.
The Institute comprises 3 centers, the Center for SETI Research, the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe and the Center for Education and Public Outreach.
Founded in November 1984, the SETI Institute began operations on February 1, 1985. Today it employs over 150 scientists, educators and support staff. Research at the Institute is anchored by two centers. Dr. Jill Tarter leads the Center for SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Research as Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI. Dr. David Morrison is the Director for the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe. Edna DeVore leads our Center for Education and Public Outreach.
The SETI Institute is a nonprofit corporation founded in 1984 (California Corporation #1261957). The Institute is a scientific and educational organization governed by the provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, and the Institute's Federal identification number for reporting and tax purposes is 94-2951356.
All contributions to the Institute will be used to further the goals described above and are deductible to the donor for both State and Federal income tax purposes.
Institute projects have been sponsored by:
- NASA Ames Research Center
- NASA Headquarters
- National Science Foundation
- Department of Energy
- US Geological Survey
- Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
- International Astronomical Union
- Argonne National Laboratory
- Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
- David & Lucile Packard Foundation
- Paul G. Allen Foundation
- Gordon and Betty Moore
- Universities Space Research Association (USRA)
- Pacific Science Center
- Foundation for Microbiology
- Sun Microsystems
- Hewlett Packard Company
- William and Rosemary Hewlett
- Bernard M. Oliver
- And many others
The Institute welcomes support from private foundations or other groups/individuals interested in SETI. Each funded effort (135 separate multi-year projects funded since 1984) is supervised by a principal investigator who is responsible to the Board of Trustees for the conduct of the activity.