In 1997, Jodie Foster had a memorable starring turn in “Contact” as a scientist working for the SETI Institute — SETI as in Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. The project is real, and recently was in danger of being shut down as funding was cut.
Earlier this year, the institute shut down their Alien Telescope Array, which searches for alien activity in outer space. Last week, the organization reached its goal of raising $200,000 to continue the operation of the telescope through the end of 2011. The funds were donated by over 2,000 private donors, including Jodie Foster.
According to the Christian Science Monitor, “The Allen Telescope Array is SETI’s collection of 42 radio dishes, each 20 feet (6 meters) wide, at Hat Creek Radio Observatory in Northern California. The dishes work together to scan the heavens for signs of an intelligent civilization out there in the cosmos creating non-random signals.”
We think it’s great that Jodi still feels a connection to the Institute… but this is certainly an interesting charity of choice.