Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Screening & Live Event

Part of Science on Screen: Outer Space Speculators & Science on Screen
Saturday, February 8, 2020, 6:30 p.m.
Museum of the Moving Image - Redstone Theater

Introduced by astronomer Lisa Kaltenegger, Director of the Carl Sagan Institute

Dir. Robert Zemeckis. 1997, 150 mins. 35mm. With Jodie Foster, Matthew McConaughey, David Morse. Carl Sagan, renowned astronomer and star of the 1980s television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, wrote the story that inspired this beloved science fiction film. Jodie Foster stars as radio astronomer Dr. Ellie Arroway who scans outer space for signals from intelligent life. When a transmission arrives, it destabilizes Ellie’s personal, as well as ethical, religious, and political convictions. Sagan based Ellie Arroway’s character on Jill Tarter, the long-time director of the SETI Institute which searches for extraterrestrial life. “[Contact] tells the smartest and most absorbing story about extraterrestrial intelligence since Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”—Roger Ebert, The Chicago Sun-Times. Before the screening of Contact, astronomer Lisa Kaltenegger, Director of the Carl Sagan Institute at Cornell University, will speak about her research exploring new worlds.

Lisa Kaltenegger is the Director of the Carl Sagan Institute at Cornell and Associate Professor in Astronomy. Her research focuses on exploring new worlds orbiting other stars and searching for signs of life. She is a world-leading expert in modeling potential habitable worlds. Among her awards are the Invited Discourse lecture at the IAU General Assembly in Hawaii, the Heinz Meier Leibnitz Prize for Physics of Germany, the Doppler Prize for Innovation in Science of Austria, and the Barry-Jones Inauguration Award of the Royal Astrobiology Society and Open University in Britain. Her accolades include being named one of America’s Young Innovators by Smithsonian Magazine, an Innovator to Watch by TIME Magazine, and being selected as one of the European Commission’s Role Models for Women in Science and Research. Asteroid 7734 Kaltenegger is named after her.

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Lisa Kaltenegger