Broadcast 2640 Jim Funaro

07 Feb 2016 Jim Funaro
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Guest:  Jim Funaro; Topics:  Contact Conference 2016, special speakers & programs, anthropology, on and offworld plausible contact.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding specific Space Show programs & guest(s) to the Space Show blog which is part of archived program on our website,  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See

We welcomed Jim Funaro back to the program to discuss the 2016 Contact Conference to be held at the Domain Hotel in Sunnyvale, CA from April 1-3, 2016.  For full conference, hotel, and registration information plus a list of speakers and topics, visit  For the fist part of our discussion, I asked Jim to provide us with the history of the Contact Conference which goes back 27 years when Jim founded the conference and organization.  He also talked about the significance of anthropology and the focus of Contact which may not be what you think it is so listen carefully to Jim's introductory comments.

For the balance of our discussion in both segments, Jim went over the conference for this year, guest speakers and topics, the Keynote address and the simulations provided for students on the last day of the conference, Sunday, April 3.  He talked about conference structure as it is a one track event, the focus this year on Mars and why so with the special Mars speakers including Kim Stanley Robinson, Andy Weir, Chris McKay, and Larry Niven.  Conference logistics were discussed with news of the upcoming change in conference and hotel prices set for March 1 so if you can attend, you certainly want to register and sign up by the low price deadline.  

In the second segment, Jim stressed the diversity of the conference in terms of topics, speakers and those attending, along with the interdisciplinary content.  He was asked about focusing on ET but said Contact was more of a professional conference, modeled after an academic conference and it was not a fan club type of conference.  He went over many of the other speakers and their topics, all of which served to illustrate the uniqueness of the Contact subject matter and talks.  He also stressed the networking opportunities for everyone. 

In response to a listener question as to the conference being appropriate for a ten year old, Jim talked about their educational programs and willingness to talk with school kids, plus he mentioned the age appropriate simulations.  Before the program ended, we talked about remembering Contact supporters and contributors no longer with us including Dr. Al Harrison and Dr. Marvin Minsky. Al was a true personal friend of mine and a gust on the program several times.  He was one of my favorite guests and a person I had lots of fun with at conferences and even went up to Davis, CA to meet him for lunch a few times (about a 90 minute drive for me).  Personally, I miss Al very much and I miss his being on the show and his books. Unfortunately, I never knew Marvin nor was he a guest on the show but still a great loss to us all.  Before our discussion ended, we summarized the conference and registration logistics.

Please post your comments/questions on the comments section for this archived program on TSS website. Jim can be contacted through me or the Contact website.




Upcoming Contact Conference Information

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