LITTLE FERRY, NJ.., July 20, 1995 -- The scientist who conducted the first microwave Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) in 1960 has lent his support to a group of radio amateurs seeking to privatize the search. Dr. Frank Drake, now Professor of Astronomy at the University of California at Santa Cruz, has been appointed to the advisory board of The SETI League, Inc. Drake earlier expressed enthusiasm for the group's efforts in an interview in the San Francisco Examiner, saying there's a chance the amateur SETI buffs could hear the first greetings from space. "You never know!" Drake says with a chuckle. "[The SETI League's] plans are quite reasonable. It's not flaky stuff like the UFO people."
As a young astronomer, Drake conducted the first SETI experiment, Project OZMA, from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, WV. He subsequently convened the first ever scientific conference on interstellar communications, and directed the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. He taught at Cornell University prior to his present position, and serves as President of the California-based SETI Institute. He is the father of the famed Drake Equation, a tool for quantifying extraterrestrial civilizations, which appears in every modern astronomy textbook.
SETI scientists seek to determine through microwave and optical measurements whether humankind is alone in the universe. Since Congress terminated NASA's SETI funding in 1993, The SETI League and other scientific groups have been attempting to privatize the research. Experimenters interested in participating in the search for intelligent alien life, or citizens wishing to help support it, should email to join_at_setileague_dot_org, check the SETI League Web site at http://www.setileague.org/, send a fax to +1 (201) 641-1771, or contact The SETI League, Inc. membership hotline at +1 (800) TAU-SETI. Be sure to provide us with a postal address to which we will mail further information. The SETI League, Inc. is a membership-supported, non-profit [501(c)(3)], educational and scientific corporation dedicated to the electromagnetic Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence.
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