SETI (Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute | Tour de Moon
SETI Institute
SETI (Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute

Founded in 1984, the SETI Institute is a non-profit, multi-disciplinary research and education organization whose mission is to explore, understand, and explain the origin and nature of life in the universe and the evolution of intelligence. Our research encompasses the physical and biological sciences and leverages expertise in data analytics, machine learning and advanced signal detection technologies. The SETI Institute is a distinguished research partner for industry, academia and government agencies, including NASA and NSF.

The SETI Institute was incorporated as a 501(c)3 California Non-Profit Corporation on November 20, 1984. The inaugural officers of the Institute were CEO Thomas Pierson and SETI scientist Jill Tarter. The Institute began operations on February 1, 1985. Prior to the inception of the SETI Institute, NASA was funding a small project in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. John Billingham, Chief of Life Sciences at NASA Ames Research Center and Bernard (Barney) Oliver, formerly of Hewlett-Packard invited Tom Pierson and others into discussions about maximizing the effectiveness of the funds, and ways of putting more money into the research and less into institutional overhead. These discussions led to the concept of a dedicated non-profit research organization focused on research and education around the factors of the Drake Equation. This vision was realized in the 1984 incorporation of the SETI Institute.