Jill Tarter, who inspired the main character in Carl Sagan's Contact, has been searching for extraterrestrial intelligence for close to 40 years. Here, in a brief but compelling video, she explains why she and so many others are driven to look for alien life.

Why do we search for aliens? Says Tarter:

We should be searching for life beyond the earth because we want to understand what the laws of chemistry and physics have produced in this universe. Are we the only life there is? Are we the only intelligent species, or are we one of many? How do we fit in? It's a very old question, humans have asked it, and we want to find the answer.

Beautiful.

Via PBS's The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers