Who We Are
An Invitation From ...
Dr. Ivan Almar holds a senior position in Budapest at the Konkoly Observatory of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He served as co-chair of the IAA SETI Committee (now called the IAA SETI Permanent Study Group) from 1984 to 2000. He is also chair of the IAA Committee on Multilingual Terminology, and a member of the executive committee of the International Astronomical Union's Commission 51 (Bioastronomy). In Hungary, he serves as president of the Hungarian Space Research Council and honorary president of the Hungarian Astronautical Society. He is a member of the International Academy of Astronautics and the New York Academy of Sciences. Ivan is co-developer of the Rio Scale, used to quantify the impact of any public announcement regarding evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence. He is also author of the San Marino Scale, adopted in 2007 IAA SETI Permanent Study Group to quantify the potential impact of employing electromagnetic communications technology to announce Earth's presence to our cosmic companions, or to reply to a successful SETI detection. Ivan has written numerous SETI-related articles for Acta Astronautica and other scholarly journals. Dr. Almar was selected to deliver the 2008 Billingham Cutting-Edge Lecture at the International Astronautical Congress in Glasgow, Scotland.
Dr. Athena Andreadis is an academic research scientist at work in Boston, where she examines a fundamental gene regulatory mechanism known as alternative splicing. Knowledge of this mechanism will help us understand how the brain works, and contribute to the struggle against mental retardation and dementia. When not conjuring in the lab, she writes (and used to review) fiction, a skill she developed as an unexpected benefit of chronic insomnia. She arrived in the US from Greece at 18 to pursue biochemistry and astrophysics as a scholarship student at Harvard University and MIT. She had always wondered about the possibility of life on other planets and the limits of the human body and mind in radically altered environments. Combining all these interests, she wrote To Seek Out New Life: The Biology of Star Trek, a stealth science book which investigates biology, psychology and sociology through the lens of the popular eponymous series and films. In the wake of the book, she got invited to give talks in venues ranging from NASA research labs to the Mars Society to the NIH. She plans to write many more books, if only she can find the time. She's a voracious reader, has travelled extensively, and would travel even more if her benchwork allowed it. She does not play an instrument, though she keeps threatening to take up the bagpipes. However, she can sing on-key in the four languages that she knows -- all of which she speaks with a slight accent.
Prof. Alex Antonites is a full professor in the Department of Philosophy, University of Pretoria, South Africa. His fields of speciality are Philosophy of Science, Philosophical Cosmology, Animal Consciousness and Ethics, Theory of Evolution, and Philosophical Anthropology (Meaning of Life). He is a member of the South African Academy of Science and other academic organizations and institutes. Apart from philosophy, he also have a degree in theology. Prof. Antonites regularly publishes many articles in academic journals. This includes articles on extraterrestrial intelligence. Alex regularly gives papers (some of which includes topics also on extraterrestrial intelligence) at international and national philosophy conferences, and others, such as SA AMSAT, as well as taking part in discussions on South African radio and TV. He is the regional coordinator of the SETI League for South Africa. Influenced by Carl Sagan and others, he has also developed an interest in intra-terrestrial intelligence (animals).
Dr. Valeria Ascheri completed her Ph.D. in the philosophy of science at the University of Genoa in Italy in May 2004, at the age of 27. Five years earlier she completed her final dissertation ("The Problem of Language in SETI") in the philosophy of language and science in the University of Genoa's Department of Philosophy. At Bioastronomy '99 in Hawaii, her poster paper on "A Methodological Approach to Communicate with Extraterrestrials" wrestled with the problem of how to communicate with a distant intelligence whose characteristics are unknown to us. She chose chemistry as the most likely common ground, and proposed transmitting an artificial chemical encyclopedia (the spectra of abundant elements and then the spectra of chemical elements that we have created in laboratories). In 2001, she continued this line of thinking in her presentations at the International Astronautical Congress in Toulouse, where she was elected a member of the IAA SETI Permanent Study Group. Her essay for Tobias Wabbel's forthcoming collection discusses the philosophical and theological implications if SETI succeeds. Dr. Ascheri lives in Rome with her husband and their young son, Tommaso.
Mr. Stuart Atkinson lives in the north of England, where he founded a flourishing astronomical society. His three books are Journey Into Space, The Kingfisher Facts and Records Book of Space, and Understanding Science: Astronomy. Born in 1965, he is particularly interested in SETI and the possibility of learning about alien art and culture from a super-smart probe. His fresh insightful ideas are evident in his thoughtful contributions to the Contact email discussion list. Stu says that "I have been an amateur astronomer since my junior school days, and now I am very busy speaking in schools (120 so far). I hope some of these girls and boys will end up working on the Moon or Mars when they grow up."
Ms. C Bangs is a professional artist whose work has been exhibited throughout the United States and in Europe, South America, and Australia. Her art is included in the permanent collections at the Library of Congress, New York City College of Technology, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Chrysler Museum (Norfolk, Virginia), the Mint Museum (Charlotte, North Carolina), and the Natural History Museum and the Panterra Contrade Museum (both in Siena, Italy). Her art is included as chapter frontispieces for Living Off the Land in Space, Deep-Space Probes 2nd ed., More Telescope Power, Telescope Power, The Urban Astronomer, and The Starflight Handbook, coauthored or authored by Gregory Matloff. Her work has also been included in exobiology issues of the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society (a modified version of the "man and woman" Pioneer 10/11 plaque), Zenit, and in Analog, Science Fiction and Fact. She served as a NASA Marshall Space Flight Center summer Faculty Fellow from 2002-2004, and worked under a NASA grant in 2001 to create a holographic prototype interstellar message plaque.
Dr. Wendell Bell grew up in California's San Joaquin Valley with a big sky and snow-capped mountains. Reading became a way of life, first in school and then at home, day and night. World War II interrupted his education and he spent three years as a Naval Aviator, with a tour of duty in the Philippines. He married Lora-Lee Edwards, who taught him to love animals and art (she is an artist), and had children. After earning a Ph.D. degree in sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles in 1952, he taught at Stanford and Northwestern before returning to UCLA (where he did research on leadership, inequality, and social justice in the new states of the Caribbean). Then, in 1963, he was called to Yale where he expanded his comparative studies of inequality and social justice and where he stayed until his retirement in 1995. He remains at Yale as a Senior Research Scholar in the Center of Comparative Research and also works as a futurist consultant. He became a futurist in the early 1960s, introduced futures studies courses at Yale, and published a basic text in 1997, the two-volume Foundations of Futures Studies. He has written nine books and more than 200 articles. When asked to join the Invitation to ETI group, he immediately wanted to inform any ETs that he is definitely not good to eat - too old and stringy. He added that most of his adult life he has been trying to learn how to be a decent human being, and he is still working on it, not always successfully. In addition, he wants to ask any ET who is listening, "What does it mean to be a good citizen of the Universe?" He also wonders whether extraterrestrials have a sense of humor.
Dr. Clement Bezold founded the Institute for Alternative Futures in 1977 to encourage "Anticipatory Democracy." In 1982, he started its for-profit subsidiary, Alternative Futures Associates (AFA) to assist corporations in their strategic planning. Trained as a political scientist, he has been a major developer of foresight techniques - applying futures research and strategic planning methods in both the public and private sectors. As a consultant, Dr. Bezold has worked with a large variety of successful and growing corporations as well as governments and non-profit organizations. He has designed numerous workshops and projects to study future environments in a wide range of fields including health care, law and the courts, the environment, genomics, and science and technology. In 2005, Clem organized an initiative to explore advances that could reduce health disparities among the poor and disadvantaged. Now Chairman of the IAF Board, he focuses his energy on working to instill foresight knowledge and practices in government.
Dr. Ragbir Bhathal's courses on "Astronomy and Life in the Universe" are popular among students at the University of Western Sydney Macarthur in Australia, and with the general public. As the foundation chair of the SETI Australia Centre from 1995 to 1998, he spearheaded their 1998 conference on SETI science and society, which attracted 100 participants from 15 countries. He directs an optical SETI observatory at the University. He wrote Australian Astronomers, Profiles, and Searching for ET, and he edited the 2000 issue of Acta Astronautica devoted to SETI. The National Library of Australia has created the Dr. Ragbir Bhathal Collection, which includes his correspondence as well as his papers.
Mr. Robert Bigelow has initiated and funded several scientific research projects to study the possibility that ETI from a mature civilization has reached Earth in one form or another. In 1998 he sponsored an international essay contest with the three winners each receiving $5000. He is the founder and President of the National Institute for Discovery Science, recognized by the FAA as "the single point of contact for UFO research" in the USA. A Las Vegas entrepreneur, he is also president of Bigelow Aerospace.
Mr. Richard Braastad is a particularly welcome addition to this group because he too tries to communicate with aliens. He has sent messages to stars that might harbor extraterrestrial intelligence. He coordinated an international science team that transmitted "Cosmic Calls" -- interstellar radio transmissions. Broadcast by a powerful radio astronomy antenna in Ukraine, Cosmic Calls included mathematically-encoded scientific messages about our solar system, our planet, and ourselves. The transmissions also included non-mathematical messages, including the 'hello' page from this Invitation to ETI Web site! In fact, Braastad likens this Web site to the Cosmic Calls in that both projects attempt to establish Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence - CETI. A futurist by training, Braastad works primarily as a writer. For his master's project in Studies of the Future (University of Houston - Clear Lake), Braastad - with invaluable advice from Dr. Allen Tough - wrote The Extraterrestrial Sermons, a set of scenarios depicting how communication with an extraterrestrial intelligence in the mid-21st century might impact major world religions. The scenarios assume ET responds to a Cosmic Call by composing a message with the Cosmic Call's own mathematical language. A long-time member of the National Space Society and of the Houston Astronomical Society, he has also served as the editor of a newsletter for space activists, and has worked for the Mid-Continent Technology Transfer Center at NASA's Johnson Space Center where he sought commercial applications for NASA-generated technologies.
Dr. David Brin is a scientist and bestselling novelist. He wrote Earth, The Postman, The Uplift War, The Transparent Society, and (at the request of Isaac Asimov's heirs) a grand finale to Asimov's Foundation Universe. Startide Rising won a Hugo and Nebula award. Much of his writing features provocative thought experiments about alien intelligence and SETI. In 2003, his book Kiln People! came in second for the Hugo Award for Best novel at the World Science Fiction Convention in Toronto. Most recently, Brin announced the arrival of his 3rd short story collection, Tomorrow Happens. This special edition by NESFA Press contains nearly all of his stories that have appeared in magazines since Otherness, plus a number of provocative essays. Puzzled and frustrated by ETI's lack of communication with humans, he addressed a lengthy hard-hitting letter to ETI. Called "Attention all alien lurkers: The people of Earth have a message for you," it appeared in the January 2000 issue of Science Fiction Age. He is currently writing two psychological thrillers. He describes himself as living in San Diego county with his wife, three children, and a hundred very demanding trees.
Mr. Richard Burke-Ward is a maker of television science documentaries, and also a novelist, writing psychological thrillers under the pen-name Richard Burke. His first two novels, Frozen and Redemption, are published by Orion. His TV credits include the landmark series "Space" presented by Sam Neill for the BBC, and "Raging Planet" for Discovery USA. His fresh ideas concerning alien probes are presented in his major paper in the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society (January 2000). He lives in Taunton, England, with his wife and son.
Dr. Mauro J. Cavalcanti is a biologist and systems analyst who lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he is a research associate with the Department of Vertebrates, Museu Nacional do Rio de Janeiro. Some of his long-term research interests that may be relevant to SETI concern the evolution of morphological diversity in geological and ecological time and the environmental impacts of exotic organisms (including transgenic organisms). He has also been active in the field of bioinformatics and taxonomic computing. Within the SETI field, he is interested in the potential contributions of evolutionary biology to a better understanding of the origin and planetary distribution of intelligence (on Earth and elsewhere). He would particularly like to know how extraterrestrial civilizations have dealt with environmental problems on their home planets. His Toucan* website provided a biologist's contribution to SETI.
Prof. Eric Chaisson is an astrophysicist who has written a dozen books and more than a hundred papers in the research journals. He is director of the Wright Center for Science Education at Tufts University, where he holds professorships in physics, astronomy, and education. He also teaches cosmic evolution at the Harvard College Observatory. His latest book is Cosmic Evolution: The Rise of Complexity in Nature (Harvard University Press, 2001). His other books include Cosmic Dawn, The Life Era, and The Hubble Wars, all of which have won numerous literary awards. He is also co-author of Astronomy Today, the most widely used college-level astronomy textbook in the United States.
Mr. Bob Citron has a long-standing interest in intelligent life in the universe, and has supported SETI for several years. He is the Executive Director Emeritus of the Foundation For the Future, which studies the factors that will have the greatest impact on the next thousand years. In 1999 it sponsored an international seminar on the cultural impact of extraterrestrial contact. He founded Earthwatch in 1970 and Spacehab in 1983, and he co-founded Kistler Aerospace Corporation in 1993.
Mr. Richard Clar is a Southern California Interdisciplinary Artist who now resides in Paris. Clar, who studied at the Chouinard Art Institute (now Cal-Arts), is an early pioneer of art-in-space and began work in this field in 1982 with a NASA approved concept for an art-payload for the U.S. Space Shuttle. Philosophical in nature, themes for Richard Clar's art-in-space projects include: space environment issues, such as orbital debris; war and peace; the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), and water management on Earth. The work of Richard Clar has been exhibited in museums, galleries, and universities in the United States, Europe, and Japan. His work may be found in corporate collections such as JBL Sound and the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. Richard is a member of the International Academy of Astronautics, and serves on its SETI Permanent Study Group.
Prof. Jack Cohen is an internationally known reproductive biologist. His last position, at Warwick University in the United Kingdom, bridged the Ecosystems Unit of the Biology Department and the Mathematics Institute. His books include several in reproductive biology and, with the mathematician Ian Stewart, "The Collapse of Chaos" and "Figments of Reality"-"The Appearance of Design" is in preparation. His most recent book is "Evolving the Alien" (Ebury UK) aka "What Does a Martian Look Like; the science of extra-terrestrial life" (Wiley US), again with Stewart. He is co-author, with Stewart and Pratchett, of "The Science of Discworld" 1 and 2; 3 is signed up. He is consultant to top science fiction authors, designing alien creatures and ecologies. The s-f novel "Wheelers" (a first-contact story with Stewart) now has a sequel "Heaven" at Warner-Aspect, out early 04. He has initiated and participated in the production of several TV programmes, including "The Natural History of an Alien" (BBC and Discovery, '98) His hobbies include boomerang throwing and keeping strange animals: from Hydras to mantis shrimps, and octopuses to llamas.
Ms. Cindy Corriveau has a BA in Psychology and is employed the State of CT. She is also a freelance writer and photographer for a local newspaper, the Author of Salem: Images in America Series by Arcadia Publishing, Author of EVP: Talking to Beyond for the Door Opener Mar-May 2005 Edition, and the President of the Salem Historical Society. Ms. Corriveau is the President and Founder of Interdimensional Investigations, a Reiki Practitioner II, a Master Teacher of Magnified Healing, an annual EVP workshop Presenter for Pagan Odyssey Beltane Festival , a member of the Salem Land Trust, Salem Lions Club, Gungywamp Society, a Red Cross Certified Emergency Shelter Volunteer and a member of the Concerned Citizens of Colchester promoting African American History. Her specialty in the paranormal field has been Electronic Voice Phenomenon (acquiring disembodied voices on tape). Corriveau's credibility in presenting original EVP recordings to the CT Skeptic Society has lead to an ongoing series of scientifically controlled experiments under the direction of Yale Neurologist, Dr. Stephen Novella. Her latest endeavors as a Certified Cable Access producer include producing and hosting an original informative talk show: Ghost Chat New England. With a diverse background in human services, paranormal phenomenon, history, archaeology, communication and advocating, Cindy's skills may prove to be a valuable asset to the IETI project at some stage. Who knows for sure what ETI is like and what skills will be needed for communication? A fresh new approach is always welcomed.
Dr. David Darling is a freelance science writer with a Ph.D. in astronomy. Amazon.com called him "one of the world's leading authorities on extraterrestrial life." His Extraterrestrial Encyclopedia, published in 1999, contains 1900 items on all aspects of the quest for life in the universe. His highly-acclaimed book, Life Everywhere: The Maverick Science of Astrobiology, was published in 2001 by Basic Books. This was followed by The Complete Book of Spaceflight (2002), The Universal Book of Astronomy (2003), The Universal Book of Mathematics (2004), Teleportation: The Impossible Leap (2005), Gravity's Arc: The Story of Gravity from Aristotle to Einstein and Beyond (2006), all published by John Wiley & Sons. Earlier he wrote Deep Time, Equations of Eternity (a New York Times Notable Book of the Year), Soul Search, Zen Physics, and several children's books. Dr. Darling presented "Astrobiology and SETI: A Promising New Partnership" at The SETI Leauge's Third Annual Awards Banquet. Since 1999 he has maintained The Worlds of David Darling website, which includes the 8,000-entry Encyclopedia of Astrobiology, Astronomy, and Spaceflight. A British citizen, he lives with his American wife in Dundee, Scotland.
Prof. Jim Dator has taught futures studies, including the futures of space settlement, for more than thirty years. He is director of the Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies and Head of the Alternative Futures Option, Department of Political Science, University of Hawaii. He is also co-director of the Space and Society department, of the International Space University, Strasbourg, France. Well known in many countries, he writes and speaks about alternative long-term futures for robotics, space exploration, and humanity.
Dr. Paul Davies is a theoretical physicist, cosmologist, astrobiologist and author. He is a Regents' Professor at Arizona State University, and Director of the BEYOND Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science. Davies previously held academic appointments in the UK, at the Universities of Cambridge, London and Newcastle upon Tyne. He moved to Australia in 1990, initially as Professor of Mathematical Physics at The University of Adelaide. Later he helped found the Australian Centre for Astrobiology, based at Macquarie University, Sydney. His research has ranged from the origin of the universe to the origin of life, and includes the properties of black holes, the nature of time and quantum field theory. In addition to his research, Professor Davies is known a passionate science communicator. He gives numerous public lectures each year throughout the world and has written twenty-seven books, both popular and specialist works, which have been translated into many languages. He writes regularly for newspapers, journals and magazines in several countries. Among Davies' better-known media productions were a series of 45 minute BBC Radio 3 science documentaries. Two of these became successful books and one, Desperately Seeking Superstrings, won the Glaxo Science Writers Fellowship. In early 2000 he devised and presented a three-part series for BBC Radio 4 on the origin of life, entitled The Genesis Factor. His television projects include two six-part Australian series The Big Questions and More Big Questions and a 2003 BBC documentary about his work in astrobiology entitled The Cradle of Life. Paul Davies has won many awards, including the 1995 Templeton Prize for his work on the deeper implications of science; the 2001 Kelvin Medal from the UK Institute of Physics and the 2002 Michael Faraday Prize from the Royal Society for promoting science to the public. In April 1999 the asteroid 1992 OG was officially named (6870) Pauldavies in his honour.
Dr. Kathryn Denning, the Distinguished Advisor to the Invitation to ETI, is an anthropologist/archaeologist who has taught and conducted research at universities in Canada and the UK. She has been intrigued by SETI since seeing Carl Sagan's series Cosmos as a child, and actively renewed her interest in the subject two decades later, in 2003. Since then, she has participated in SETI Institute seminars about interstellar message construction, and has presented papers on SETI-related themes at the American Anthropological Association and CONTACT. She is a member of the SETI Permanent Study Group of the International Academy of Astronautics, and she is frequently invited to speak about her SETI work at international conferences. She continues to study SETI-related subjects, including: scientists' conceptions of ETI, and how these are influenced by culture, history, and by the technology used in SETI; how archaeology might inform interstellar message construction; and what the course of civilizations on Earth might tell us about the Drake factor "L". Denning enjoys exploring the philosophical resonances between archaeology and SETI. Both involve the quest to know about Others distant from us in space and time; both require us to challenge our own ideas about intelligence, ways to think, and ways to live; both can force us to work in challenging realms of scientific thought, where theories and searches are compelling, but evidence is difficult to interpret and proof is elusive; both pose fascinating theoretical challenges in communication; and both make us reconsider our own place in the world. Although she is persuaded by the scientific arguments about the probability of some sort of life elsewhere in the universe, Denning remains unconvinced that ETI is surfing the Web. However, she would be delighted to be proven wrong.
Dr. Steven J. Dick is a member of the International Academy of Astronautics and its SETI Permanent Study Group. He obtained his B.S. in astrophysics (1971), and MA and PhD (1977) in history and philosophy of science from Indiana University. He worked as an astronomer and historian of science at the U. S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. for 24 years before coming to NASA Headquarters to serve as its Chief Historian from 2003 until his retirement in 2009. Among his books are Plurality of Worlds: The Origins of the Extraterrestrial Life Debate from Democritus to Kant (1982), The Biological Universe: The Twentieth Century Extraterrestrial Life Debate and the Limits of Science (Cambridge University Press, 1996), and Life on Other Worlds (1998). His most recent books are (with James Strick) The Living Universe: NASA and the Development of Astrobiology (2004), and a comprehensive history of the U. S. Naval Observatory, Sky and Ocean Joined: The U. S. Naval Observatory, 1830-2000 (2003). He is also editor of Many Worlds: The New Universe, Extraterrestrial Life and the Theological Implications (2000), and (with Keith Cowing) Risk and Exploration: Earth, Sea and Stars, NASA SP-2005-4701 (Washington, D.C., 2005). His latest books are an edited volume (with Roger Launius) on Critical Issues in the History of Spaceflight (NASA SP-4702, 2006), and Societal Impact of Spaceflight, also edited with Roger Launius (2007). Steve has served as Chairman of the Historical Astronomy Division of the American Astronomical Society, as President of the History of Astronomy Commission of the International Astronomical Union, and as President of the Philosophical Society of Washington. He delivered the very first Billingham Cutting-Edge Lecture at the 2006 International Astronautical Congress in Valencia, Spain.
Dr. Bob Dixon is noted for leading the longest duration SETI project ever. He is now developing the Argus telescope, which looks in all directions at once and hence can be used in radio SETI to detect transient signals.
Mr. Bruce Dorminey is a science journalist and author of "Distant Wanderers: The Search for Planets beyond the Solar System" (Springer 2001). A frequent contributor to Astronomy magazine, and a charter member of the NASA Astrobiology Institute's Science Communication Group, Dorminey has had a lifelong interest in SETI.
British politician Bill Newton Dunn has been an elected member of the European Parliament since 1979. Bill is married, with a son, a daughter, and a grandson. A scientist by training, he is a writer of books and political pamphlets.
Mr. Duane Elgin is the author of Promise Ahead (2000), Voluntary Simplicity (1981 and 1993), and Awakening Earth (1993). He co-authored with Joseph Campbell and others, Changing Images of Man (Pergamon 1982). He was formerly a senior social scientist at the think-tank SRI International where he co-authored numerous studies on the long-range future such as Anticipating Future National and Global Problems. Prior to SRI, Duane worked as a senior staff member for the National Commission on Population Growth and the American Future. Duane has an MBA from the Wharton Business School and an MA from the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Alex Ellery, FRAS, FBIS, is a British physicist/engineer born in 1963. His main field of specialisation is space robotics, in which he gained his Ph.D., and he is also a graduate of the International Space University summer programme. His interests lie in space robotics, artificial intelligence, astrobiology, evolution, SETI, and self-replicating probes. From 2003 to 2006, Alex was a Lecturer in Spacecraft Engineering at the Surrey Space Centre, University of Surrey, UK, and worked on the ESA ExoMars Rover Phase A study with EADS Astrium UK. He currently is an Associate Professor at Carleton University in Canada, where he serves as Canada Research Chair in Space Robotics & Space Technology. The main thrust of his research has been the development of Mars rover/mole mission platforms for astrobiology research, thus combining his interests in space robotics and astrobiology. His textbook for graduate students, called An Introduction to Space Robotics, was recently published. Now he is writing a book on von Neumann probes, called The Tenth Avatar.
Mr. Richard Factor stepped onto the SETI stage when the U.S. Congress terminated funding for NASA's SETI projects in 1993. Dismayed by that short-sighted political decision, he founded the SETI League to privatize SETI. He continues to serve vigorously as the League's first president. He is a science buff and science fiction fan who wishes he had more time to pursue research and reading. At the SETI League's technical symposium in 2001, his paper spelled out the advantages of gravitational lensing SETI. A successful entrepreneur, he heads Eventide Inc., manufacturers of advanced electronic equipment for the broadcast, recording, and aviation industries. When not running his business or privatizing SETI, Richard is busy turning a Toyota Prius into a UPS for his house.
Dr. Ben Finney, an anthropology professor at the University of Hawaii, actively participates in both the international SETI Permanent Study Group and the annual CONTACT conference. In the early 1970s he founded the Polynesian Voyaging Society to revive Polynesian voyaging for research and cultural purposes. The Society's first voyaging canoe has now sailed over 100,000 nautical miles. This provided an excellent basis for thinking about human prospects in space. As a result he co-edited Interstellar Migration and the Human Experience, and still frequently writes and speaks about this topic. He chairs the Space and Society department at the International Space University's peripatetic summer sessions.
Mr. Joseph Firmage has served as chairman of four organizations: Intend Change, OneCosmos Network, the International Space Sciences Organization, and the California Institute for Physics and Astrophysics. Earlier he wrote a book presenting a highly positive view of extraterrestrial intelligence and its importance to humanity. He has sponsored two high-level workshops to study eight contact scenarios and how to prepare for them. He was the founder and CEO of USWeb, "the world's largest Internet engineering and communications services firm," but left in 1999 at age 28 in order to pursue his new interests.
Mr. Robert A. Freitas Jr. was the world's leading thinker and writer about the search for extraterrestrial probes in the 1980s. He is one of the few scientists ever to actively look for such probes. In 1980 and 1983 he conducted the first search for probes and other extraterrestrial artifacts in Earth orbit and at several Lagrange points, wrote extensively about the rationale for such searches along with the first book on xenology, conducted the first radio SETI search at the tritium line, and co-edited the 1980 NASA feasibility study of self-replicating robot systems in space and in 2004 co-authored the first comprehensive survey of self-replicating machines. During the 1990s, he turned his attention to the closely related topic of nanotechnology and has completed the first volumes of a planned 4-volume work on nanomedicine. Called "the world's foremost expert on potential medical applications of molecular nanotechnology," Freitas has continued his work on medical nanorobotics and molecular manufacturing, and most recently nanofactory development, both as a Research Scientist at Zyvex during 2000-4 and as Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing.
Dr. David Friar, MD, is a psychiatrist who lives in Volcano on Hawaii's Big Island. A student of human consciousness in its wide range of states and processes, he has had a lifelong fascination with the possibility of communication with alien minds. He believes that searching for other forms of intelligence in the universe is a developmental task embraced by most intelligent species at some stage. He attended Bioastronomy '99 in order to meet SETI social scientists.
Prof. Jim Funaro is the founder and program chair of the annual CONTACT conference, which explores various scenarios of what might happen when contact occurs between human and extraterrestrial beings. When he founded CONTACT in the early 1980s, it consisted largely of anthropologists, artists, and science fiction writers interested in thinking about contact with other intelligent life forms. It has now evolved into an international interdisciplinary forum on humanity's future as well as extraterrestrial contact. It attracts scientists, humanists, and educators from the SETI and astrobiology fields, and from space-oriented programs such as NASA. He is an award-winning poet and recently retired as an anthropology instructor. He presented a paper at the 1999 NASA meeting on the societal aspects of astrobiology.
Mr. Jerome (Jerry) Glenn is the co-author of Space Trek and the author of Future Mind: Artificial Intelligence. He is co-founder and executive director of the Millennium Project on global futures research, which since 1996 has published an annual State of the Future Report, as well as Futures Research Methodology 3.0.
Ms. Judith Marx Golub, a fourth generation Californian, is vice-president and chief financial officer of Software Management Network, a software maintenance consulting firm. She spent the first 24 years of her career as a software developer/maintainer before forming her own company. She has used her marketing and sales skills to put on conferences, seminars, workshops, and trade shows, as well as provide outreach support to speakers in various fields of interest, including SETI. Her interest in astronomy and SETI led her to become involved as conference coordinator for CONTACT 2000. On a personal note, she enjoys photography, entertaining, cooking, travel, and antiques. To hone her skills at alien communications, she talks frequently to Mr. Dickens, her 3.5-pound Yorkshire terrier.
Mr. Kevin Hand is a 28-year-old research associate with the Astrobiology Integration Office at NASA Ames Research Center. He is interested in working toward the human exploration of Mars and the search for life in the universe and is particularly interested in the physics of life. At the SETI Institute he worked on the "fraction of planets with life" factor in the Drake equation, specifically on Mars surface reconstructions for selecting future landing sites. Kevin is also very interested in how space technology can better the standard of living for human life here on Earth. He has bachelor's degrees in physics and psychology and hopes to put a few more letters after his name in the coming decade.
Dr. Albert Harrison wrote After Contact: The Human Response to Extraterrestrial Life. A professor of psychology at the University of California, he is also a board member for the annual CONTACT conference, a regent of United Societies in Space, and a member of the NIDS Science Advisory Board. His latest book is Spacefaring: The Human Dimension.
Ms. Anne Hartman is a doctoral student in Social Anthropology at York University in Toronto. Her current research interests include Canadian nationalism, gender and sexuality studies, urban anthropology, and studies of play and performance. She also holds a MA in Theory, Culture, and Politics from Trent University (2003), and an Honours BA from the University of Western Ontario (1999). Anne has been working as a Researcher with Dr. Allen Tough and Invitation to ETI since the summer of 2006. As a sociocultural anthropologist, she is interested not only in the possibility of finding hitherto unknown forms of life (perhaps radically different than anything we know), but is also fascinated by the ways in which our own cultural, historical, and personal locations influence the ways in which we conceptualize contact. She hopes that if contact occurs, humans will do a better job of fostering understanding and equity across cultural divides than has been the case in the past.
Mr. Carl Helmers, owner of the trade magazine company Helmers Publishing Inc., started and published 15 issues of SETIQuest, the magazine of SETI and bioastronomy, from 1994 until September 1998. He originally entered the magazine world by co-founding Byte magazine.
Mr. David Hines has degrees in fine arts and makes his living as a painter of landscapes. In his paintings of the western Mojave Desert of Southern California at night, "isolated lights denoting human presence are mirrored by stars that may denote life in the vastness of space as well. There is in the most successful of these paintings a mood of expectant uncertainty, as though one of those stars could suddenly approach us or make contact with us." One of his evocative paintings (copyright 2000) is part of this Invitation to ETI website, serving as a symbolic doorway or portal through which ETI and humans can communicate. He has a long-standing interest in extraterrestrial intelligence, and attended the 1999 seminar on the cultural impact of extraterrestrial contact as well as Bioastronomy 99. If contact with ETI occurs, he foresees artists resiliently embracing and exploring that contact, serving as a significant bridge if ETI finds our science uninteresting, and gaining artistic inspiration from this historic event.
Ms. Donna Hines was the administrative coordinator of the 1999 seminar on the cultural impact of extraterrestrial contact on the Big Island of Hawaii, and is coordinating the seminar proceedings. Because of her long-standing interest in SETI, she also attended Bioastronomy 99. She is deputy director of the Foundation For the Future, which studies the highest impact factors affecting the next thousand years. She notes that contact with extraterrestrial intelligence might well turn out to be one of these factors. Prior to joining the Foundation in 1997, she was employed by Kistler Aerospace Corporation in Kirkland, Washington.
Dr. Barbara Marx Hubbard is the president of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution. She is the author of Conscious Evolution, The Revelation, The Evolutionary Journey, and The Hunger of Eve. Long noted for her inspiring positive visions of humanity's future, she contributes a powerful vision of a future moment of connectedness and love between humanity and ETI. This moment of resonance might occur when enough people around the world realize we are on the verge of being born as a cosmic civilization, a vital member of the vast living universe. Barbara says, "It is important to use music, images, and words to tell everyone the story of the imminent birth of a cosmic humanity. I foresee a planet wide birthday celebration. This openness to contact with other forms of intelligence, this moment of resonance, will allow the wise mature forms of extraterrestrial intelligence to communicate directly with us."
Dr. Sohail Inayatullah is a Pakistani futurist living in Australia. He brings an Islamic and Indian tantric perspective to understanding the Other, space travel, and alternative futures. In addition to a recent CD-ROM on futures studies, his recent books include Coherence and Chaos in Our Uncommon Futures; Macrohistory and Macrohistorians; Islam, Postmodernism and Other Futures; The University in Transformation; Situating Sarkar; and volume 4 of The Knowledge Base of Futures Studies.
Dr. Barbara Joans is chair of the anthropology department and director of the anthropology museum at Merritt College. Her particular interests include feminism, bikers groups, her own Harley Davidson LowRider bike, and cultural anthropology (sex; cultural change; subcultural misunderstandings). A CONTACT stalwart, she often contributes to the annual simulation of contact between alien intelligence and a human team.
Dr. Christopher Jones is a futurist involved in the far-future solar system simulation affiliated with the annual CONTACT conference. He wrote his master's thesis (1983) on alternative futures of space development and was a founding member of the Honolulu L5 Society. He is currently Secretary-General of the World Futures Studies Federation, Senior Futurist for the futures consulting firm neoFutures, and writer living in Honolulu. His websites: www.neofutures.com and www.wfsf.org.
Dr. Stuart Kingsley is an expert in fiber optics, with a Ph.D. degree in electronic and electrical engineering. Since 1990, he has vigorously promoted the idea of optical SETI. In particular, he has created an extensive web site, and he has spearheaded two optical SETI conferences with a third scheduled for January 2001. Largely due to his efforts, optical SETI has now gained much greater acceptance within the SETI field than it had a few years ago.
Mr. Larry Klaes is the Northeastern U.S. regional coordinator for the SETI League, and the general coordinator for the Columbus Optical SETI Observatory. He is also the former editor of SETIQuest magazine, the co-founder and former editor of the Electronic Journal of the Astronomical Society of the Atlantic, and former president of the National Space Society's Boston chapter.
Mr. Marcus Leech was born in sunny southern England in 1963, and emigrated to Canada in 1967. He got his first job in computing in 1979. Marcus specialized in computer security and cryptography in the early 1990s. He is past area director for security for the Internet Engineering Task Force, has chaired two security-related working groups in the IETF, and acts an advisor to the IEEE link-layer security task group. He has several patents in the field of cryptography and computer security. He spends some of his spare time conducting research in radio astronomy and SETI, and from time to time operates a SETI observing station. He makes his home in the beautiful Rideau valley, near Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He shares his life with a wife, three children, and several sheep.
Born in 1960, physicist Dr. Guillermo A. Lemarchand leads the southern hemisphere META II SETI project at the Argentine Institute for Radio Astronomy. He is also working in a long-term futures research program at the Center for Advanced Studies of the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Within the SETI field, he writes about the range of approaches that could be used to detect ETI. For several years, beginning in 1993, he served as the editor of Bioastronomy News (a publication of Commission 51 of the International Astronomical Union, published by The Planetary Society). And he serves as the executive secretary of IAA's international SETI Permanent Study Group. He co-edited the proceedings of the 1996 SPIE optical SETI conference, and the proceedings of Bioastronomy '99: A New Era in the Search for Life in the Universe. Earlier he worked with Carl Sagan at Cornell University on an ICSC World Laboratory Scholarship. He wrote a 1992 transdisciplinary book about SETI (El Llamado de las Estrellas), co-authored a 1995 book (Vida y Cosmos), and co-edited a 2000 book (Origins: From the Big Bang to the Civilizations, An Introduction to Astrobiology). And in 1999 he was co-director of the first Ibero-American School on Astrobiology.
Dr. Meng-Kin Lim is Associate Professor in the Department of Community, Occupational & Family Medicine, National University of Singapore, where he teaches Public Health and Occupational Medicine. He is deeply interested in the place and destiny of humans in the Universe. A specialist in Aviation and Occupational Medicine, he was formerly Chief of the Medical Corps of the Singapore Armed Forces and founding Director of both the RSAF Aeromedical Centre and the Defence Medical Research Institute. He is Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, Fellow of the Aerospace Medical Association, Academician in the International Academy of Aviation and Space Medicine, Member of the New York Academy of Sciences, Life Member of the World Future Society, and Humanity 3000 participant of The Foundation for the Future. In 1998, he was the Andre Allard lecturer at the 46th International Congress of Aviation and Space Medicine, and in 1999, the John Lane lecturer at the Combined Australian and New Zealand Aviation Medical Society's 50th Annual Scientific Meeting.
Prof. Robert A. Lodder received his B.S. degree cum laude in Natural Science from Xavier University (Cincinnati, Ohio) in 1981. After deciding to pursue a career in chemistry he worked under Professor Richard T. O'Neill at Xavier, and received his M.S. in Chemistry in 1983. He received his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry in 1988 after working with Professor Gary M. Hieftje at Indiana University, and is currently Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the College of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky Medical Center. Dr. Lodder holds joint appointments in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the Center for Computational Sciences, and the Division of Analytical Chemistry of the Department of Chemistry at Kentucky. He serves as Editor of the astroanalytical chemistry and astrobiology journal Contact in Context, and as a member of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Advisory Committee on Pharmaceutical Science, Process Analytical Technologies subcommittee. Dr. Lodder is a first-prize winner in the 1990 international IBM Supercomputing Competition, as well as a winner of a National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award, the American Society of Agricultural Engineers Paper Award, a Buchi NIR Award, the Tomas Hirschfeld Award in Near-IR Spectroscopy and a Research and Development 100 Award. Dr. Lodder has conducted mathematical studies aimed at solving the "false-sample" problem in thought-like operations on parallel processors. The parallel processing concepts have been extended to analytical instrumentation itself in the form of systems for hyperspectral integrated computational imaging (HICI) and the development of magnetohydrodynamic acoustic-resonance near-infrared spectrometry (MAReNIR). He is also conducting research in biosensors, near-infrared and microwave spectroscopy. He is involved in the SETI League's Project Argus and has built radio and optical telescopes to search for signals. Dr. Lodder is currently using a scanning near-infrared telescope in a search for transmissions synchronized with supernova explosions. He is also designing a distributed database that will make the data from scattered telescopes more manageable. See more current research information at Dr. Lodder's web site.
Mr. Jon Lomberg is an artist whose work is deeply inspired by astronomy and SETI. One of the world's leading science and space artists, he was a long-time collaborator with astronomer Carl Sagan in many projects, including the "Cosmos" TV series. His artwork includes the mural "Portrait of the Milky Way" at the National Air and Space Museum, and the astronomical animation for the film "Contact". He was the Design Director for NASA's Voyager Interstellar Record, and has helped create long-term communication artifacts that will be sent to Mars aboard a NASA spacecraft in 2001. Everyone who attended the 1996 or 1999 bioastronomy conferences is familiar with his artwork on the program books and T-shirts. He has also designed a nuclear waste facility warning sign for the US government, intended to survive intelligibly for 10,000 years. In 2002, Astronomical Society of the Pacific presented him with The Klumpke-Roberts Award. In 1998, on the occasion of his 50th birthday he was singularly honored when the IAU named asteroid 6446 1990QL as "Asteroid Lomberg" for this artist's contributions to the popularization of astronomy. Jon Lomberg currently creates images to support the work of the Gemini Observatory atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The artist has lived in Kona, Hawaii since 1987.
Dr. Mark Lupisella is a systems engineer at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, who received his Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Maryland, College Park. Born in 1966, he has a B.S. in Physics and a Master's degree in Philosophy of Science. He helped to found the Horizons Project, which emerged from the observation that as the first species aware of extinction and long-term development challenges, and capable of proactively addressing such threats and challenges, we do not do so with the rigor and foresight we are capable of. His research interests include Mars exploration and contamination issues associated with human missions, applying Artificial Life research to extraterrestrial life issues, the evolution of multi-generational altruism, cosmocentric world views, and philosophical and ethical issues associated with the search for extraterrestrial life and intelligence. He is presently helping develop Astrobiology's "Future of Life in the Universe" theme. He also helped start a Wearable Voice-Activated Computer Project at NASA Goddard. From his days as a software development manager for the Hubble Space Telescope, he has a free one-size-fits-all Hubble T-shirt set aside for the first genuine extraterrestrial caller.
Dr. Claudio Maccone, an Italian space scientist, is an active leader and innovator at meetings on interstellar travel and on SETI. Scholarships enabled him to study in London, New York, and Turin. The Sun as a Gravitational Lens: Proposed Space Missions won a 1999 Book Award from the International Academy of Astronautics. His earlier book is Telecommunications, KLT and Relativity, and his latest book, Deep Space Flight and Communications, was published in 2009. Claudio is a member of IAA and COSPAR, and serves as secretary of the IAA Interstellar Space Exploration Committee and co-chair of the SETI Permanent Study Group.
Mr. Alan M. MacRobert is a senior editor of Sky & Telescope magazine and maintains the SETI section of its web site. His specialties at the magazine have included astronomical research news coverage and upcoming celestrial events for amateur astronomers. He built a backyard observatory for his 12.5-inch f/6 Newtonian reflector. He says the Fermi Paradox has made him a "pessimist" regarding the chance of finding ETs in our lifetime (commenting, "I think I'd be more surprised if there are 10,000 civilizations in the Milky Way than if there is one civilization per 10,000 galaxies."). Nevertheless he is a SETI enthusiast because "the experiment is just too way cool not to do, and because of the payoff if my own guess is wrong." His strong feelings on the rationale for wide-sky surveys over star-by-star targeted searches are well expressed in this article
Dr. Greg Matloff, FBIS, is a leading expert in possibilities for interstellar propulsion and is a tenured astronomy professor with the physics department of New York City College of Technology, CUNY, a consultant with NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, a Hayden Associate of the American Museum of Natural History and a Corresponding Member of the International Academy of Astronautics. He co-authored with Les Johnson of NASA and C Bangs Living Off the Land in Space (2007) and has authored Deep-Space Probes (2000 and 2005). As well as authoring More Telescope Power (2002), Telescope Power (1993), The Urban Astronomer (1991), he co-authored with Eugene Mallove The Starflight Handbook (1989). His papers on interstellar travel, the search for extraterrestrial artifacts, and methods of protecting Earth from asteroid impacts have been published in JBIS, Acta Astronautica, Spaceflight, Journal of Astronautical Sciences, and Mercury. His popular articles have appeared in many publications, including Analog. In 1998, he won a $5000 prize in the international essay contest on ETI sponsored by the National Institute for Discovery Science.
Dr. Michelle Merrill recently received her Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology and Anatomy at Duke University. Her research focuses on communication, cooperation, and intelligence in non-humans in an attempt to understand how humans evolved in these areas. She investigated the origins of culture by studying population differences in wild orangutans on Sumatra. She has also studied bonobos in captivity and in the wild. In her studies of these great apes, it has become increasingly clear that social tolerance and cooperation (a capacity for friendliness) is vital to the exchange of information and skills which is the key to cultural and technological development. Her close work with these other species has also shown her that intelligence and understanding on our planet is not limited to humans. She currently does ecoliteracy consulting through Emergent Systems, to cultivate a better future for humans and other species here on Earth. She hopes that contact with terrestrial and extraterrestrial intelligence will help humans to treasure and preserve the variety of intelligent creatures who have evolved here. She looks forward to a friendly exchange of information and skills with any non-humans about ourselves, themselves, and the universe we share.
Mr. Michael Michaud has been publishing articles on the implications of contact with ETI for more than thirty years. He was an American career diplomat for 32 years, serving as acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Science and Technology, and as Science and Technology Counselor at the American embassies in Paris and Tokyo. He was one of the initiators of the US-Soviet anti-satellite arms control talks in 1978, and played a major role in the negotiation of a new space cooperation agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union in 1987. As a member of the International Academy of Astronautics and the International Institute of Space Law, he coordinated the drafting of the Declaration of Principles Concerning Activities Following the Detection of Extraterrestrial Intelligence. He chaired the Academy's Subcommittee on Issues of Policy Concerning Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence for more than a decade. He is the author of more than a hundred published works on SETI, space, and related subjects. Now a full-time writer living in Vienna (Austria), he is the author of Reaching the High Frontier, a book about the American pro-space movement, and Legend, a novel about the interaction of two civilizations: Mexico and Southern California.
Dr. Stelio Montebugnoli, in Bologna (Italy), leads a major European SETI effort called Project Starvoice. He is the engineer in charge of the Medicina radioastronomy station (consisting of the big Northern Cross telescope and the VLBI 32 m dish antenna). He started his SETI activity in the early 1990s with the design of a high resolution spectrometer. He used it to study the effect of the SL-9 comet / Jupiter crash (July 94) and he detected the emission of water on the E fragment impact zone, a finding that is relevant to the bioastronomy perspective. This finding was published in Planetary Space and Science (Elsevier) in 1996. Now the Seti-Italia Project is using (in piggyback mode) the 32 m dish with a 15 MHz @24 million channel Serendip IV system.
Dr. Paolo Musso is Professor of Philosophy of Nature at the Pontifical Urbanian University and the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, both in Rome, Italy. He was born in that city on 13 November 1964. He studied Philosophy of Science in the University of Genova, where he graduated with first-class honours in 1990 with Prof. Evandro Agazzi. In 1997 he earned his Ph.D. with a dissertation on the philosophical implications of the theories of chaos and complexity, working with Prof. Tito Fortunato Arecchi, Director of the National Institute of Optics of Firenze, one of the world-leading scientists in the field. So far he has published three books (Rom Harré and the Problem of Scientific Realism, 1993, and Philosophy of Chaos, 1997, both with Franco Angeli of Milano, and Living with the Bomb: From Bioethics to Biopolitics, with ESI of Napoli, 2002) and about 15 papers on these issues. At the end of 1997 he started working on SETI, focusing on its linguistic and philosophical problems. He gave presentations on these topics at international meetings in Hawaii 1999, Trieste 2000, San Marino 2001, Frascati 2001, Toulouse 2001, San Marino 2002, and Paris 2002. Some of them have also been published. He also collaborates with the two Italian national newspapers Avvenire and La Repubblica.
Maj. Gerald D. Nordley, USAF (ret.), FBIS, is an astronautical engineering consultant who focuses on interstellar travel and other space-related subjects. He has degrees in physics and systems management, has led orbital operations and advanced space propulsion research, and has written articles and technical papers on advanced propulsion subjects (interstellar propulsion, antimatter, particle beams, and tethers). In the early 1980s he served as chief of the advanced propulsion branch at the former U.S. Air Force Rocket Propulsion Laboratory at Edwards AFB. He is also, as G. David Nordley, an award-winning science fiction and science writer and illustrator. He serves as Treasurer of CONTACT: Cultures of the Imagination, which he describes as an interdisciplinary educational group focused on the evolution and eventual interaction of intelligent beings.
Prof. Ray Norris is the Deputy Director of the CSIRO Australia Telescope National Facility. As well as actively participating in SETI, his astrophysical research includes understanding the difference between galaxies with black holes and those without, and his technological research includes the development of new radio-astronomical techniques. He is also active in the promotion and communication of science, particularly to the next generation of potential scientists. He is a member of the IAA SETI Permanent Study Group and chairs the study group on post-detection science and technology. His 1999 paper at the IAA SETI sessions in Amsterdam refined his thinking about the likely age of ETI. He served as Program Chair for Bioastronomy 2002.
Ms. Carol Oliver, a university-based science journalist, specializes in the relations between SETI and media/education, a topic on which writes and speaks at international meetings. As executive officer of SETI Australia, she helped it become one of the world's leading SETI organizations. She also coordinated the 1998 SETI conference at the University of Western Sydney Macarthur. Now she is executive officer of the Australian Centre for Astrobiology at Maquarie University. She also serves as chair of the local organising committee for IAU symposium 213, "Bioastronomy 2002: Life among the Stars", and as co-chair of the organising committee for the simultaneous Fulbright Symposium 2002, "Science Education in Partnership."
Prof. Alexander Ollongren, 74, is emeritus professor of theoretical computer science and guest professor of astronomy at the prestigious Leiden University in The Netherlands, where he teaches a course on communication with ETI. Many years ago he became interested in Hans Freudenthal's Language for Cosmic Intercourse (usually called Lincos) for communicating with ETI. Now he is reformulating Lincos in terms of constructive logic and is working on interpretation of the new system. He presents his work at SETI workshops on the art and science of interstellar message constructions.
Dr. John R. Percy (BSc Math and Physics 1962, MA Astronomy 1963, PhD Astronomy 1968, all University of Toronto) is professor emeritus of astronomy and astrophysics at the Erindale Campus of the University of Toronto, in Mississauga, and also retired as Director of the undergraduate Science Education Program there. He was cross-appointed to the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. His research interests include variable stars and stellar evolution, and he has published over 200 research papers in these fields. He is also active in science education (especially astronomy) at all levels, throughout the world, and he has edited several conference proceedings on this topic; his interests include curriculum development, teacher education, science centres and planetariums, student research projects, citizen science, and international development of astronomy. He has served as president of six national or international scientific and educational organizations, and received several awards, most recently the University of Toronto's 2003 Northrop Frye Award. Having retired from undergraduate teaching, he is now teaching Astrobiology to later-life learners.
Ms. Elisabeth Piotelat is a 34-year-old computing engineer in Orsay, France. While wondering why computers using the same known protocols can't communicate, she dreams about cosmic connection. Her interest in SETI drew her to the Nancay radio-astronomy station in 1995 for a training period about human-computer interface. She had been lucky to have some SETI related discussion with François Biraud and Eric Gérard. But she will allways regret to have been so shy when she once crossed Jean Heidmann. She serves as the SETI League's Voluntary Coordinator for France and translated some web pages in French. She shares 50% of her genes with her daughter Sonia born in 2002. It's a great source of inspiration when she has to speak about SETI in workshops or for the media. "What is the noise of the planet?" and "Are the teletubbies extraterrestrials?" are some of the debates they have already had.
Mr. George Raynault is a successful entrepreneur as well as a motivational speaker and trainer. He reads science fiction widely and is quite knowledgeable in the esoteric. Recruited to the Invitation to ETI group in June 2004, he brings to the group outstanding entrepreneurial and problem-solving skills. Allen Tough notes that "compared to other people whom I know, George spends more time doing excellent thinking about contact with ETI than almost anyone else, and asks particularly thoughtful and big questions."
Ms. Mary Reed has had a life-long interest in the Cosmos in general and SETI in particular. In October 1998 she presented a paper on exosemiotics during the IAA SETI sessions in Melbourne, Australia. She wrote the summary of the Invitation to ETI dinner discussion in Santa Clara in March 2000. In the spring of 2002, she wrote her thesis for a master's degree in English from Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, California, on "Preparing for ETI First Contact Through Literature." Mary currently lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. She is working on a historical fiction novel, but retains a keen interest in SETI.
Dr. Reed Riner is Professor of Anthropology at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, where he regularly teaches a graduate research seminar on the theory and methods of futures research. He has published numerous articles on topics in anthropological futures and served as editor of Cultural Futures Research. He is a member of the board of directors for the annual CONTACT conference, where he often coordinates the far-future simulation of the solar system.
Dr. Martha Rogers wrote Learning about Global Futures and, more recently, Canadian Nursing in 2020. Particularly interested in future scenarios and health care, she is an associate professor at a major Canadian university.
Mr. Monte Ross, an electrical engineer, is a pioneer in laser communications (a paper in 1965, a book in 1966, and leader of the team that developed the first space laser communication system) and in the concept of optical SETI. He received a Fellow award from IEEE and another from McDonnell-Douglas, both awards for his work in space laser communications. He is currently president and CEO of a company that produces electronic information systems. He is active in optical SETI, and presented a poster paper at Bioastronomy 99.
Dr. Filippo Salustri is an assistant professor in the department of mechanical, aerospace, and industrial engineering at Ryerson Polytechnic University in Toronto, Canada. Fil has already experienced dialogues with super-intelligent beings--the very brightest Mensa members, who are so smart that only one person in 2500 matches their IQ.
Dr. Salvatore Santoli, FBIS, an Italian physical chemist, is a Director of the INT-International Nanobiological Testbed Ltd., a London-based company. He has authored papers tackling the problem of human/alien communication of semantic information, and has edited eight issues of the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society (JBIS) on exobiology and the origins of life in the Universe. As a nanobiologist, he has published papers on the origins of life and exobiology, and has co-authored the book "Self Organization in the Universe and Life" as well as papers formulating and developing the Impulse Paradigm of self organization of matter in the Universe by the four fundamental interactions (in order to estimate ETI distribution in space and time and the ultimate evolution of humankind). His paper "Life and Intelligence in the Universe from Nanobiological Principles" was published in the 2000 special SETI issue of Acta Astronautica.
Dr. Louis K. Scheffer was one of the editors of the SETI Institute "roadmap" report called SETI 2020 and he is currently a technical board member for the Allen Telescope Array. His first two degrees were from Caltech and his PhD in electrical engineering is from Stanford. He is a Fellow at Cadence Design Systems (San Jose, California), where he is responsible for the software architecture of digital integrated circuit design tools. Lou Scheffer is the author of a significant paper called Aliens can watch 'I Love Lucy' published in Contact in Context. Conventional wisdom says that aliens might detect our TV signals, but will not be able to decode them. In contrast, Lou argues that "this view considerably underestimates the technologies that aliens might employ. By looking at likely technical improvements -- better receivers and feeds, bigger antenna, signal processing, and perhaps stellar focusing -- any civilization that can detect our radiations might well be able to decode it as well. Thus aliens can form their impression of Earth from 'I Love Lucy'."
Dr. Wendy Schultz is a futurist who lives in Oxford (England) and Houston (Texas), where she is a visiting scholar in studies of the future. Interested in space and technology, she works to help people imagine, envision, and plan positive futures for Earth through her company Infinite Futures.
Mr. Donald M. Scott has been a National Park Service Ranger/Naturalist, teacher in secondary and college-level schools, and the NASA aerospace educational representative for Montana, Nevada, Southern California, and Arizona. His honors include awards for blood donation, commendations from NASA Education and the National Park Service, a listing in "Who’s Who in America" and other "Who’s Who" publications, and selection as Guest Writer at the Wallace Stegner Boyhood Home, in Eastend, Saskatchewan, Canada. He is a member of the Board of Director of the CONTACT educational futures organizations and a founding member of the Honorary Board of Managers for the T-Rex Discovery Centre in Eastend, Saskatchewan, Canada. He is currently traveling the west as a volunteer for various land management agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, and the Public Lands Institute of the University of Nevada at Las Vegas and the Sawtooth Interpretive and Historical Association in Stanley, Idaho. Scott’s biography of George R. Stewart, who popularized the practice of naming storms in his 1941 ecological novel "Storm," is scheduled for publication in 2012. A fourth-generation native of California, Scott graduated from San Francisco State University, where he earned his Master of Arts degree in Education, Secondary Credential, and Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Science and Public Speaking. Mr. Scott has two sons and two granddaughters. His brother, Raymond John Scott, is a distinguished musician in the San Francisco area.
Dr. Robert Shapiro wrote Life Beyond Earth, Origins, and The Human Blueprint as well as his 1999 book Planetary Dreams: The Quest to Discover Life Beyond Earth. A chemistry professor at New York University, he has written about 100 scientific articles on DNA chemistry, mostly on mechanisms of mutagenesis and carcinogenesis. His books deal with more speculative areas of science, such as the nature of life in the universe and how life began on Earth. In Boston in 1999, he delivered a Wright Lecture on Cosmic Evolution. He has been awarded (along with Paul Davies) the Trotter Prize in Complexity, Information and Inference for 2004. He is a Member of National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council Committee on the Limits of Organic Life in Planetary Systems, 2004-2005. His brainchild to protect our civilization by backing up vital data in a sanctuary is now also represented on the web. His article, 'A Simpler Origin for Life' was the cover story of Scientific American, June 2007.
Choreographer, director, dancer and teacher, Erika Chong Shuch crosses over boundaries. She melds theater, dance, science, poetry, music, video and mechanics to formulate works of art that are multidisciplinary -- in the truest sense of the word. Inspired by a wide range of subjects, from cannibalism to extraterrestrial intelligence, Shuch nevertheless puts the focus on the drama of human experiences. A restless intellect, Shuch dropped out of high school in San Jose, CA at age 17, yet still found her way into theater and dance at the University of California at Santa Cruz. After graduating, Shuch danced in Seattle and in Berlin with Alex B Company and Sommer Ulrickson (Wee Dance Company) before returning to California to earn an M.F.A. at San Francisco's New College of California, where she also co-founded the multidisciplinary Experimental Performance Institute. In 2002, she started her own company, the ESP Project, composed of a mix of artists that come from a wide variety of backgrounds. With works such as "Vis-à-Vis" and "All You Need," Shuch quickly established herself as one of the Bay Area's most interesting young performance artists. Her piece "ORBIT (notes from the edge of forever)," which was inspired by the research of her father, H. Paul Shuch, was nominated for a 2007 Izzie Award for visual design.
Prof. H. Paul Shuch, FBIS FRCA FERAC, is a thrice-retired (recovering) academic who keeps falling off the wagon. He recently served as Visiting Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Lycoming College, Williamsport PA, as Visiting Professor of Electrical Engineering at the Heidelberg University of Applied Sciences, and now runs a small Sport Pilot flight school in Lock Haven, PA, USA. Over the past fifteen years, he has built up The SETI League, its membership base, its web pages, and its search efforts conducted by dedicated amateurs. As a result, the SETI League is now the major international grass-roots force within the SETI field. Armed with an acoustical guitar and a PowerPoint projector, he has presented SETI talks to audiences all across the United States and in more than a dozen other countries on five continents. He "lives on a radio-quiet hilltop with his wife, and two of their seven recombinant DNA experiments." He flies his own airplane and wrote the lyrics for the songs in all three SETI League songbooks. In 2000 he composed the lyrics for an Invitation to ETI song, and is now pleased to serve as the Invitation to ETI Principal Investigator. Paul is a member of the International Academy of Astronautics, and co-chairs its SETI Permanent Study Group.
Mr. John Smart is a developmental systems theorist who studies science and technological culture with an emphasis on accelerating change, computational autonomy (human-independent machine and infrastructure learning) and a hypothesis known in futurist circles as the technological singularity (increasingly human-surpassing machine intelligence; see http://accelerationwatch.com). He is president of the nonprofit Acceleration Studies Foundation (ASF), a community for outreach, education, research, and selected advocacy of communities and technologies of accelerating change. He co-produces the Accelerating Change conference, an annual meeting of future-oriented change-leaders in the SF Bay Area, and edits ASF's free newsletter, Accelerating Times, read by over 3,000 acceleration-aware thinkers around the world. He is a member of the Association of Professional Futurists and the FBI Futures Working Group, and serves on the editorial advisory board of Technological Forecasting and Social Change. John has a BS in Business from the Haas School at UC Berkeley and six years of postgraduate coursework in biological, medical, cognitive, computer and physical science at UCLA, UC Berkeley and UC San Diego. He's currently completing an MS in Future Studies at U. Houston and writing a book on the topic of accelerating change. His first book, Planning a Life in Medicine (for premedical students), was published by Random House in March 2005. John lives in Los Angeles, CA.
Dr. Gregory Stock explores the larger evolutionary significance of our recent technological progress. This interest led to his 1993 book Metaman: The Merging of Humans and Machines into a Global Superorganism. He currently directs the Program on Medicine, Technology, and Society at UCLA's Medical School, where he is a visiting professor. He is also a senior fellow at the Center for the Study of Evolution and the Origin of Life. He co-organized the first major symposium on human germline engineering in 1998, and he continues to speak often on radio and television. His latest book, Redesigning Humans, discusses the impact of genomics and bioinformatics on future human evolution. He is also known for his thought-provoking value-clarifying questions. The Book of Questions, now in its 55th printing, has sold over 2 million copies and been translated into 17 languages.
Dr. Brian Swimme thinks deeply about the universe and its evolution. His research focuses on the evolutionary dynamics of the universe, the relationship between scientific cosmology and more traditional religious visions, the cultural implications of the new evolutionary epic, and the role of humanity in the unfolding story of Earth and cosmos. He has presented his ideas in three books: The Universe Story, The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos, and The Universe as a Green Dragon. His ideas are also in three videos: The Earth's Imagination, Canticle to the Cosmos, and The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos. A core faculty member at the California Institute of Integral Studies, he founded the Center for the Story of the Universe there and the international Epic of Evolution Society.
Dr. Bruce Tonn is an associate professor in the School of Planning at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a senior researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He is known for his writings on potential futures (including 500-year planning and the voices of future generations) as well as issues and research in environmental and energy policy. In a recent essay entitled "Transcending Oblivion," he argues that a primary guiding vision for Earth life should be to emigrate from Earth and our solar system before the sun dies.
Dr. Allen Tough is a SETI researcher and a futurist. He is the founder and Chief Scientist of the Invitation to ETI, and the author of these web pages. He is also a professor emeritus at the University of Toronto. For the past 25 years, he has vigorously pursued three closely related interests: the long-term future of human civilization, advanced intelligence in the universe, and sources of meaning and purpose. He is the author of Crucial Questions About the Future and A Message from Future Generations. Click for his full formal Curriculum Vitae (a detailed biography) or for a narrative biography that also describes how the Invitation to ETI developed.
Mr. Paul Tough is a print and broadcast journalist, originally from Toronto, now residing in New York City. He is a features editor at the New York Times Magazine, the author of a forthcoming book on poverty, race and education, and the son of Invitation to ETI founder and chief scientist Dr. Allen Tough. He recently produced a radio story on the Invitation to ETI, the history of human attempts to contact extraterrestrials, and the ways in which the search for extraterrestrial intelligence has affected his relationship with his father. The story aired in 2005 on "This American Life" (Act Two of episode 289), and was adapted from a lecture that Paul Tough delivered in Brooklyn and Philadelphia as part of the Little Gray Books Lecture series. The program, in MP3 format, is available here.
Rev. Susan Tough lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in the geographical centre of the North American continent. She is a minister in the United Church of Canada, serving the large and vibrant congregation of St. Mary's Road United Church. She and her partner Russell enjoy gardening, bicycling, reading and working on crossword puzzles. Susan grew up in Toronto, attended the University of Toronto (B.Sc.) and Queen's Theological College (M.Div). Following in the footsteps of her father, Prof. Allen Tough, she has a deep commitment to education and personal growth. One of the highlights of her job is her work with children, teenagers and adults of all ages in programs of learning, exploration and creative expression of faith. Susan's talents include baking chocolate chip cookies, which could be considered a 'must-try' on our planet for any visitor. She lives on the vast prairie region of North America and has developed a passion for growing native plant species, some of which are in danger of extinction. Asked about her faith, Susan says, "The vast majority of humans have a belief in a supreme being. I represent Christianity, one of the five major streams of belief followed by humans. Christianity has existed on Earth for just over two thousand years."
Dr. Margaret Turnbull is a consulting scientist for NASA's New Worlds Observer, a space telescope mission to discover and study Earth-like planets orbiting nearby stars, and for the MIT Exoplanet-SAT, a mission to search for transits of habitable exoplanets. She currently serves as President of the Global Science Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to scientific research, education, environmental preservation, and sustainable development. Dr. Turnbull's scientific background is in astrophysics and biology, with an emphasis on searching for signs of life on other planets. She gives frequent public talks on topics such as "The Search for Alien Life", and "The Earth as a Living Planet: Discovery and Preservation" to audiences of all ages, and has been a guest on numerous national and local radio programs. Dr. Turnbull is also active in local community life and serves on the City of Antigo Common Council, organized the Antigo Farmers' Market, and founded the Antigo City Farm.
Dr. Giovanni Vulpetti, a physicist based in Rome (Italy), has written many scientific papers about interstellar flight since 1974. He served as a chair of the Interstellar Space Exploration Committee, International Academy of Astronautics (IAA); as such, he arranged and acted as one of the coordinators of several IAA international symposia on interstellar flight. Since 1995, he has been an active member of the IAA committee for the Lunar Base (the return to the moon) and Mars exploration. This Lunar development international forum is chaired by Emeritus Professor H. H. Koelle, one of the main contributors to the Apollo project. Giovanni Vulpetti prepared a comprehensive overview of interstellar flight for the 1998 International Astronautical Congress and the September 1999 Journal of the British Interplanetary Society. He is particularly interested in fast solar sailing and in nuclear propulsion crewed mission identification and computation. In the 1990's, he found new types of sailcraft trajectories and published his results in Acta Astronautica. In 2001, he acted as consultant in a team to NASA/MSFC for studying original mission concepts - through fast solar sail trajectories - of the NASA Interstellar Probe. He is retired from Telespazio, where his primary work was on Earth satellites for scientific and environmental analysis. His current scientific interest is frontier mathematics.
Mr. Tobias Wabbel (born 1973) is a German writer and editor who has studied journalism and has a special interest in SETI. He believes that contact will soon be made through the discovery of extraterrestrial artifacts like robot probes intruding on our solar system. He is currently organizing a European committee of international scientists to search for these artifacts on Earth. Together with Frank Drake, Jill Tarter, and others, he appeared in the European ARTE television documentary "Cosmic Connexion," addressed to potential alien civilizations, broadcast into space in October 2006. Mr. Wabbel has published five books, including two anthologies on SETI and extraterrestrial contact. His most recent publication, based on ten years of research, is a non-fiction monograph on the treasure of the Knights Templar, published by Random House in 2010. His current writing projects include a novel on SETI.
Ms. Lori Walton has been passionately interested in ETI since the age of 6. A Canadian who lived in Whitehorse, Yukon, northern Canada for 16 years, she now resides in Edmonton, Canada. She is a geologist and graduate gemologist and President of Tigerstar Geoscience, a private company providing management and consulting services in the areas of finance, project acquisition, management and corporate development to the mining industry. She thinks a lot about humanity 100,000 years from now and serves as the SETI League coordinator for the Yukon and Northern Canada. She has attended the Bioastronomy 1999 in Hawaii and Bioastronomy 2007 in San Juan, Puerto Rico and is a member of the International Astronomical Union SETI Permanent Study Group and a member of the SETI Post-Detection Subcommittee.
Born in 1972, Dr. Tianhong "Scarlett" Wang is an adult educator and trainer. She has been particularly interested in ETI ever since her early school years, and has contributed several fresh insights to the Invitation to ETI project. Her current interests include SETI, cultural and value systems of alien intelligence, and promoting the general public's awareness of SETI research. Dr. Wang says, "Because I come from an old oriental culture, I am particularly interested in the cultural and value system of ETI, and how it shapes their society. For example, I am curious about their purpose of life, their definition of happiness, and their way of coping with challenges. My contact with Dr. Allen Tough during my M.A. and Ph.D. years at the University of Toronto increased my interest in this whole area." Currently residing in Beijing, Scarlett formerly served as Dr. Tough's research assistant, and project manager for Invitation to ETI, which she described at the 2004 CONTACT Conference.
Dr. Kelvin Wellington is an Australian radio astronomer and microwave engineer involved in Southern SERENDIP and in SETI Australia's project to introduce SETI into high schools. He recently took early retirement from CSIRO to devote more time to other interests but maintains his links with CSIRO and with the University of Western Sydney Macarthur. He is Deputy Chairman of SETI Australia and has been actively involved in SETI radio searches since 1990. When Project Phoenix used CSIRO's Parkes telescope in 1995 he was the Australian co-ordinator. Kel attends various SETI and bioastronomy conferences, and spent nine months at the SETI Institute. For several years now he has participated in an international project to construct a square kilometre size radio telescope.
Mr. Noel C. Welstead was born in Sydney Australia in 1951. Here is his description of himself. "I have been an avid follower of the development of space exploration since the early 60's and even started the UFO Club, Padstow, as a way of generating interest in the study of extraterrestrial intelligence. Many books of the time fired my imagination as to the possibility of other solar systems and their possible life evolution scenarios and it was natural for me to be drawn to the study of SETI. My own pursuit of the subject has facilitated the design and development of Australia's only privately funded and operated SETI Observatory where we seek to answer the most fundamental of all questions: 'Are we alone?' I applauded the concept of The Invitation To ETI as a worthy endeavour to invite any other intelligence, be it machine or biological, to make contact with us. When you think about it, are we really machines or biological entities, or both? I think that we are really a combination of both and we are seeking answers about our own origins and potential futures."
Dr. David Whitehouse, based in London, is senior science correspondent at the British Broadcasting Corporation. A former astronomer, he is currently science editor for BBC News Online.
Dr. Chandra Wickramasinghe is an astronomer who has made pioneering contributions to several branches of astronomy, including the theory of cosmic dust. Jointly with the late Sir Fred Hoyle, he proposed the modern theory of cosmic life. A deep revolution in scientific thought that changes the way we view ourselves, this theory is being confirmed by the results of space exploration. The theory implies that alien intelligence may not be as alien as we once thought; ETI-human communication may therefore be reasonably easy. In 1986 he was awarded the International Dag Hammarskjold Gold Medal for Science and in 1992 he was decorated by the President of Sri Lanka with the titular honour of Vidya Jyothi. Together with Sir Arthur C. Clarke, he was awarded the International Sahabdeen Prize for Science in 1996. His keynote address opened the 2001 optical SETI conference and his banquet speech concluded the 2002 SETI League conference. He holds an earned doctorate (ScD) from the University of Cambridge and an honorary doctorate from the Soka University of Tokyo. Formerly a Fellow of Jesus College Cambridge, he is now Professor of Applied Mathematics and Astronomy and head of the Centre for Astrobiology at Cardiff University of Wales. He is an award-winning poet and the author or co-author of more than 20 books and 250 scientific papers. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Dr. Alexander Zaitsev is a Chief Scientist of the Radio Engineering and Electronics Institute, Russian Academy of Science. His career has been marked by three major areas of interest: First, radar devices used in the study of Venus, Mars, and Mercury, particularly direct digital synthesizers of coherent radar signals (the subject of his M.S. thesis, 1981). Second, near-Earth asteroid radar research (the subject of his Ph.D.dissertation, 1997). Dr. Professor Zaitsev has been able to successfully conduct international radar astronomy research projects with Europe, the United States and Japan. In 1992, he led a team of radar astronomers who successfully tracked the asteroid 4179 Tautatis to a distance of 3.6 million kilometers from Earth. This was the first non-U.S. asteroid radar experiment. Third - interstellar radio messaging (at present). He supervised the transmission of the 1999 and 2003 Cosmic Calls from Ukraine. In addition, under his leadership, a youth group in Moscow composed and broadcast a very moving Teen Age Message to ETI, including a beautiful "Theremin Concert for Aliens." A pioneer in active SETI, he coined the acronym METI (Messaging to Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence), and dialogs extensively with both proponents and critics of this admittedly controversial activity. In 1985, Zaitsev received the Soviet Governmental Prize in Science. In 1980 he received the Koroliov Gold Medal of the Soviet Space Federation. In 1994 he received the Tsiolkovski Gold Medal of the Russian Space Federation. In 1995 the International Astronomical Union named the asteroid number 6075 as "Zajtsev."
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