In the interview with Jill Tarter, I was surprised to find out that SETI is no longer government-funded. I did consider that the government has stricter policies on what type of research is allowed, and how that research may be restricted, but I think it may be extreme to completely remove funding for SETI. I was of the belief that understanding life, such as looking for traces of life on Mars, was an important part of space exploration. Therefore, is SETI, not the pinnacle of this search?
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To add on to that, I think we have in the world a large problem with under-funding research, especially in science. These activities have really large positive externalities, and if we fund them more we could easily accelerate advanced in everything from climate change to fighting pandemics to faster computers.
I largely agree with the government's lack of funding for SETI. Money is always tight in NASA's budget, and showing tangible results (like robots on Mars or probes outside the solar system) is the most important way they demonstrate to legislators they've "earned" their funding. As such, conducting "moonshot" projects like SETI (which, judging by all present evidence will likely find nothing) very unlikely to yield tangible payoffs might be seen by some as frivolous spending.