LITTLE FERRY, NJ.., February 12, 1996 -- Dr. D. Kent Cullers, the NASA scientist who developed the computer software used by radio astronomers to identify alien microwave signals, last night was presented the first annual Bruno Memorial Award by The SETI League, Inc. for his significant technical contributions to the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence. Cullers, who has been blind since birth, believes that no human eyes are any more sensitive than his, when it comes to detecting alien civilizations. But radio receivers and computers, he reasons, have advanced in recent years to a level which makes searching the cosmos for other civilizations finally practical.
The Bruno Award honors the memory of Giordano Bruno, an Italian monk who was burned at the stake in 1600 for contemplating the existence of other inhabited planets. Recent astronomical discoveries (including the detection of planets around at least three Sun-like stars) have given scientists new hope that the Universe is teeming with life. But Government support for this research has waned, leading Cullers and other former NASA scientists to seek private funding. Cullers, who currently heads the SETI Institute's Project Phoenix search of nearby Sun-like stars, has devoted most of his professional life to seeking evidence of extraterrestrial life.
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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