Don’t worry… it’s French to me too. Here’s a basic explanation for us uneducated folks.
The Drake equation (also sometimes called the "Green Bank equation", the "Green Bank Formula," or often erroneously labeled the "Sagan equation") is a famous result in the speculative fields of exobiology and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI).
This equation was devised by Dr. Frank Drake (now Professor Emeritus of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz) in 1960, in an attempt to estimate the number of extraterrestrial civilizations in our galaxy with which we might come in contact. The main purpose of the equation is to allow scientists to quantify the uncertainty of the factors which determine the number of such extraterrestrial civilizations.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give your Mr. Carl Sagan.