Coolidge Corner Theatre Brookline, MA


Paul Horowitz

Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering, Harvard University

Contact— The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI)

An exploration of the possibility of life beyond Earth and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. 

Coolidge Corner Theatre Brookline, MA

Film Synopsis

Dr. Ellie Arroway, after years of searching, finds conclusive radio proof of intelligent aliens, who send plans for a mysterious machine.

In this Robert Zemeckis-directed adaptation of the Carl Sagan novel, Dr. Ellie Arroway (Jodie Foster) is a headstrong scientist who races to interpret a signal originating from the Vega star system. An incredible message is found hidden in the signal, containing the plans for a mysterious machine. But once first contact with an extraterrestrial intelligence is proven, Arroway must contend with inflexible National Security Advisor Michael Kitz (James Woods) and religious fanatics bent on containing the implications of such an event.

About the Speaker

Dr. Paul Horowitz is a professor of physics and electrical engineering at Harvard University. He earned a BA, MA, and PhD in physics at Harvard. His research group is focused on several problems in experimental astrophysics, including the search for intentional radio signals or laser flashes from extraterrestrial intelligent civilizations. The group's evolving SETI effort has inspired groundbreaking experiments at Harvard, including a 250-million-channel radio receiving system and a pair of optical searches that process a trillion measurements per second (the equivalent of the contents of all books in print, every second). Dr. Horowitz has published numerous scientific papers, and has led some two-dozen technical studies (and co-authored a hundred reports) on national security topics. He is renowned for his work in electronics design, and is the co-author of The Art of Electronics. Widely regarded as the "electronics bible," The Art of Electronics has been translated into eight languages and has sold a million copies worldwide.