LITTLE FERRY, NJ.., January, 1999 -- A British science writer has just made a substantial financial contribution to The SETI League, Inc., nonprofit leaders in a privatized search for intelligent life in space. Twenty-five years ago Adrian Berry endowed a foundation by setting aside part of the profits from a book he wrote, titled The Next Ten Thousand Years. "I invested a very small amount of money," Berry says, "and it grew. I am pleased to now share some of those funds with The SETI League." The grant represents roughly ten percent of the science group's 1999 budget.
Berry originally wanted to call his philanthropic venture the Bacon Foundation, after Francis Bacon and his 17th century vision of the future. "But I dropped the idea when I learned that he had rubbished Galileo's observations of Jupiter's moons," Berry recalls. "So now the foundation is nameless."
Longtime Science Correspondent for the Daily Telegraph newspaper, Berry first met SETI League president Richard Factor, secretary Heather Wood, and executive director H. Paul Shuch at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 1996. "I retired two years ago to devote more time to writing books," Berry reports. "I now hold the title of Consulting Editor (Science) at the Daily Telegraph. I write two monthly columns, one for the Telegraph called 'The Next Month's Night Sky', and a column for Astronomy Now magazine about any aspect of astronomy or space travel that catches my interest."
Berry has written 17 books on popular science. Two of them, The Next 500 Years and Galileo and the Dolphins, are currently in print in the US. The former is coming out in paperback in 1999. A new one, The Giant Leap: Mankind Heads for the Stars, is also coming out next year, but initially only in the UK.
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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