Our Mission


Our mission is to explore, understand, and explain the origin and nature of life in the universe, and to apply the knowledge gained to inspire and guide present and future generations. We have a passion for discovery, and for sharing knowledge as scientific ambassadors to the public, the press, and the government. 

The SETI Institute is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to scientific research, education, and public outreach. We are located at 189 Bernardo Ave., Mountain View, CA.

Founded in November 1984, the SETI Institute began operations on February 1, 1985. Today it employs over 130 scientists, educators, and support staff. Research at the Institute is anchored by three Centers: the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe, the Center for Education, and the Center for Public Outreach. Nathalie Cabrol is the Director of the Carl Sagan Center, Edna DeVore leads our Center for Education, and Seth Shostak is Senior Astronomer, helming the Center for Public Outreach. 

Organization Status

The SETI Institute is a nonprofit corporation founded in 1984 (California Corporation #1261957). The Institute is a scientific and educational organization governed by the provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, and the Institute's Federal identification number for reporting and tax purposes is 94-2951356. All contributions to the Institute will be used to further the goals described in our mission and are deductible to the donor for both State and Federal income tax purposes.

Contact us

189 Bernardo Ave, Suite 200, Mountain View, CA 94043