Broadcast 1313 (Special Edition)

The Space Foundation Conference

22 Feb 2010 Jim Funaro
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Guest: Jim Funaro. Topics: Contact Conference, cultural anthropology for exploring space. Jim Funaro returned to update us about this year's Contact Conference, March 26-28 at NASA Ames. Visit the conference website for detailed conference information and registration at In our first segment, Jim let us know that this conference was the 26th Contact Conference! We talked about the quarter century history of the conference and some of the memorable early programs. Jim also described a new feature for the conference this year, the use of two teams that will not talk to each other about what they are planning but will meet on Sunday to simulate an unrehearsed First Contact meeting! Don't miss Jim's description of this unique conference program. We also talked about the Cultures of Imagination (COTI) program which you can read about on the Contact website at Toward the end of this segment, a Phoenix listener asked about the movie Avatar in the context of the discussion about anthropology and space. As we started our second segment, Jim picked up on the Avatar question and said that there was an Avatar panel for this year's conference. He spent some time discussing this and the movie from the anthropology and space perspective. You will certainly want to hear this discussion. Additional listener questions came in regarding Stargate SG-1. I asked Jim why in our current space policy discussions there appears to be an absence of anything related to cultural issues for space development and exploration. Don't miss Jim's explanation for this. In our third segment, a Canadian listener asked about the sci-fi series Defying Gravity. Jim talked about some of the papers that will be presented at this year's conference and said that Contact was an interdisciplinary conference meeting with talks crossing many different fields of interest. He listed many of the major speakers and their papers so don't miss what will be addressed at Contact this year. A Boston listener asked about ET contact with humans and another asked Jim if he thought there were conspiracies in place regarding hiding ET contact. He said no. Toward the end of the program, Jim told us about the book he was writing and its possible release later this year. If you have a comment or question for Jim Funaro about this program or the upcoming Contact Conference, please email him at



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