YOUTUBE Interview with Frank Drake, The Founder of SETI

As part of the celebration of the beginning of the 30th year of the SETI Institute, a 2012 interview with the “father of SETI science,” astronomer Frank Drake was conducted by SETI Institute Board Member and veteran astronomy educator Andrew Fraknoi at SETICon II in June 2012. The discussion ranges widely over Dr. Drake’s career and current thinking, and includes reminiscences of Project OZMA (the very first experiment searching for signals from civilizations among the stars) and his current view of the Drake Equation (estimating the chances of intelligent life out there). He also reflects on a number of modern developments, including the discovery of numerous planets orbiting other stars and novel ways of searching for extra-terrestrial civilizations.

The audience at this special event received a reprint of Frank Drake’s personal history of the Drake Equation, published by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Because of its historical importance, this article is now available freely on the web at:

More information about the current status of SETI can be found at the Institute’s web site: