Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Blue Dot: A conversation with Frank Drake Award winning SETI astronomer Shelley Wright

Shelley Wright, then a student at UC Santa Cruz, with one of the optical detectors she pioneered.
Seth Shostak/SETI Institute
Shelley Wright, then a student at UC Santa Cruz, with one of the optical detectors she pioneered.

Host Dave Schlom visits with the 2022 recipient of the Frank Drake Award from the SETI Institute, Dr. Shelley Wright. Wright has pioneered instrumentation and techniques for doing optical and near-infrared SETI (Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence).

Astronomer Lucianne Walkowicz from the Adler Planetarium in Chicago joins us to talk about Wright's work and why she was selected to win the award, named for the founder of the SETI Institute and one of the field's greatest astronomers -- Frank Drake.

After visiting Shelley Wright about everything from SETI to supermassive black holes, Dave is joined by producer Matt Fidler to talk about wrapping up our Apollo@50 series and Dave reviews the new Netflix film from Richard Linklater Apollo 10 1/2.

Dave Schlom is the longtime host and creator of Blue Dot. From surfing to Voyager in interstellar space, rock guitar to orcas in our imperiled oceans, the topics on Blue Dot are as varied as the host’s interests and connections -- which are pretty limitless! An internationally respected space history journalist, Dave is also deeply fascinated by all aspects of the grand workings of nature’s awesome machinery on scales ranging from galactic to subatomic. And topics take in all aspects of the arts and sciences.
Matt Fidler is a producer and sound designer with over 15 years’ experience producing nationally distributed public radio programs. He has worked for shows such as Freakonomics Radio, Selected Shorts, Studio 360, The New Yorker Radio Hour and The Takeaway. In 2017, Matt launched the language podcast Very Bad Words, hitting the #28 spot in the iTunes podcast charts.