For more than four decades, a small group of researchers has sought to find evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence in situ, by detecting microwave signals that would betray its existence. Despite the failure to find these signals so far, there is continued and even accelerated effort to press the search. Recent advances include greater emphasis on experiments at optical wavelengths, and the construction of a new radio telescope that is deliberately designed for such reconnaissance. In addition to these instrumental improvements, several strategies have been proposed that might better the chances of ‘looking in the right place, at the right time’. This review of the current state of SETI research concludes with a speculative look at the nature of the sought-for extraterrestrials, and when it is likely we might find them.
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