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Plenty of people, myself included, have expressed skepticism about SETI (not so much the goal and vision of the project, but the strategies being used). But that doesn’t stop SETI’s Seth Shostak from being supremely optimistic about the search for alien civilisations – and I’m happy to let him tell you all about it. Here he is at a TEDx event earlier in the year putting forward his view that we’ll find ET life in the next quarter of a century:

SETI researcher Seth Shostak bets that we will find extraterrestrial life in the next twenty-four years, or he’ll buy you a cup of coffee. At TEDxSanJoseCA, he explains why new technologies and the laws of probability make the breakthrough so likely — and forecasts how the discovery of civilizations far more advanced than ours might affect us here on Earth.

The upside of not finding E.T. by 2036? Seth will buy you a cup of coffee. Also: aliens not gestating their babies in our chests, stealing our water.