LITTLE FERRY, NJ.., September 30, 1997 -- H. Paul Shuch, executive director of the nonprofit SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) League, has returned from last week's European Radio Astronomy Congress with promises of increased international participation in his group's grass-roots scientific effort. The European Radio Astronomy Club, which organized the first gathering of amateur radio astronomers from around Europe, brought Dr. Shuch to Germany as its featured speaker. "The enthusiasm I encountered bodes well for SETI," says Shuch. "The high level of professionalism demonstrated by these dedicated hobbyists and experimenters is enabling them to achieve results on a par with the best university and government sponsored research projects. The SETI League is delighted that many at the Congress are already gearing up their modest systems to aid for the search for life in space."
Congress chairman Peter Wright attracted dozens of dedicated radio astronomers from seven countries to the Starkenburg Observatory at Heppenheim, home of Europe's oldest amateur radio telescope, for the weekend gathering. In addition to Shuch, distinguished speakers included noted author and political scientist Dr. Peter Schenkel of the Centre for Higher Communication Studies in Ecuador, who addressed the social implications of SETI contact, and Manchester University's Ian Morison, who outlined plans to utilize the Lovell telescope at Jodrell Bank, currently the world's second largest steerable dish, for SETI observations. "We've planted the seeds for significant European contributions to SETI," exclaimed Wright. "We'll have to await the next Congress in three years to see just how they've taken root."
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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