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A new book about the search for extraterrestrial life was released this month by Washington Post staff writer Marc Kaufman.

Washington Post writer releases book about extraterrestrial life

Book cover of "First Contact" (credit: Simon & Schuster)

Book cover of 'First Contact' (credit: Simon & Schuster)

A new book about the search for extraterrestrial life was released this month by Washington Post staff writer Marc Kaufman. Kaufman explains on his website Habitable Zones, “Scientists by the thousands around the world are engaged in a broad and increasingly successful search for the origins of life on Earth and for traces of life elsewhere in our universe. My book seeks to bring to life the science and some of the scientists at the center of the effort.”

A Washington Post colleague, Joel Achenbach, recently interviewed Kaufman about his new book, First Contact: Scientific Breakthroughs in the Hunt for Life Beyond Earth. In the interview, Kaufman briefly discusses SETI (the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), stating that he has “never been a fan or even particularly knowledgeable person about SETI.” He explains that, after walking through a SETI telescope array, he came to the conclusion that “if we’re in fact interested in trying to learn whether technologically evolved life exists out there,” we don’t have many alternatives to SETI’s current approach. However, he still feels that the SETI approach to searching for extraterrestrial life is “mostly a crapshoot.”

SETI made headlines this week following the announcement that, due to budget cutbacks, the institute was forced to suspend operations at their Allen Telescope Array.

Kaufman’s book, First Contact: Scientific Breakthroughs in the Hunt for Life Beyond Earth, was published by Simon & Schuster this month, and is in stores now.

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About Jason McClellan

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Jason McClellan is a UFO journalist and the producer/co-host of the web series Spacing Out! He is also the web content manager and staff writer for OpenMinds.tv, and a co-organizer and technical producer of the International UFO Congress. As a founding member of Open Minds, Jason served as a writer and editor for the now defunct Open Minds magazine. He has appeared on Syfy, NatGeo, and, most recently, he co-starred on H2's Hangar 1: The UFO Files. ------ Follow Jason on Twitter @acecentric and subscribe to Jason's updates on Facebook.