Broadcast 3466 James Funaro

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Guest:  James Funaro;  Topics:  We discussed the upcoming Contact 2020 Vision Ahead conference for April 3-5, 2020 at NASA Ames Research Center, Mountain View, CA.

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We welcomed James Funaro back to the program to discuss the Contact 2020 Vision Ahead Conference, April 3-5 at NASA Ames in Mountain View, CA. The email address for information about CONTACT is  For more information about the conference, online registration, visitor information for NASA Ames and more, see  You can also order your conference badge and make your banquet reservation online at this site.

Jim started the discussion with an introduction to Contact which he said addresses concerns and interests for both NASA Ames, SETI and credible science. As such, he identified several of the speakers from either NASA Ames or SETI for this year's event.  Later in the program, Jim said that the speaker information that he was talking about on air would be posted on the website so do check for that. 

Jim shifted to conference logistics and how to visit NASA Ames for the event. He said the event was to be held in Building 152.  He also advised everyone to register online though one could do a walk-in on any given conference day.  To enter Ames, he said you need a valid ID or Green Card and he directed us to the entry building, then telling them you are attending Contact.  There are special rules if you are from a foreign nation.  After our program ended, Jim said he posted the foreign visitor rules and application form in the registration part of the Contact website.  Jim talked about the banquet and the registration fee, also the fact that this year the event is free for attendance but said there was a $25 donation fee for a plastic Conference ID card.  As for lodging, he said there was lodging at NASA Ames across the street from the meeting building.  This information is also on the website.  Ames lodging has limited space so suggested doing early hotel registration if interested in staying at NASA Ames. Other hotels off premises are available close to NASA Ames. 

Jim was asked to describe the conference content.  He said it was a diverse program based on a multidisciplinary approach to the Contact subject matter.  Since the conference extends over three days, he told us that there were three sessions which he identified as being Rangers and Astronauts for Friday (National Park Service rangers), Messaging the Stars for Saturday, and for Sunday, Epona Revisited.  Jim described each of the sessions plus he highlighted a few speakers but said the full list of special speakers would soon be posted on the Contact website. 

Listeners had some email questions for him.  One listener asked if Contact was a UFO conference given there was another conference with a similar name taking place around the same time near Las Vegas.  Jim made it clear that it was not a UFO conference.  Be sure to listen to what Jim had to say about this and how the word Contact was meant to be used for this event.  Hint:  Ignition but be sure to hear Jim's explanation.

Another listener asked Jim about networking opportunities and if Contact was a single track event.  Contact is a single track event with substantial networking opportunities.  Bring your business cards, plenty of them, as attendance may be in the range of 100-150 people this year. 

Jim talked about the special keynote address with Andy Fraknoi, "Inspiration from the Cosmos: Music, Astronomy and Popular Culture."  Jim told us about the banquet for Saturday evening and urged people attending to make their banquet reservations online as soon as possible.  In addition, our guest said one could register for just one day if that was necessary plus people could just show up and attend.  Some other questions asked if the event would be live streamed (no), if presentations would be archived on the website (no but Jim said if someone could help do that, Contact was open to the idea), plus for additional information, Jim gave out his email address on air.  Another listener asked Jim if he taught anything related to Contact topics in his anthropology classes or were they based on strictly traditional anthropology.  He said they were traditional classes but listen to all of what he said on this subject. It was a good question.  Listener Peggy inquired if Dr. Jim Pass would be presenting and attending this year as she had met Jim at previous Contact event but did not hear Jim mention his name.  Jim said he was not presenting but would be attending.  Dr. Pass founded the Astrosociology organization.  Before ending the program, Jim talked about speaker Bill Clancy and his talk "What Can We Learn from the Octopus about the Nature of Intelligence and its Evolution?" 

Please post your comments/questions for James Funaro on our Space Show blog page for this program.  You can reach Jim through me or the address he gave out on air or the Contact Conference email address above. 




Preview the upcoming Contact Conference event

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23 Feb 2020 Jim Funaro
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