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Terms of Reference

SETI is an acronym for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. The primary goal is to examine all aspects of possible future contact with extraterrestrial civilizations, with special reference to international issues and activities. These aspects include technical efforts to find evidence for extraterrestrial intelligence as well as the social consequences of such a discovery. In addition, this group promotes the interest and eventual involvement of students in this work, primarily through education initiatives, the Internet, and the mass media.


The International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) formally established a committee for SETI science as far back as the early 1970s. Over the decades, it has variously been known as the IAA SETI Committee, the IAA SETI Permanent Study Group (SPSG), and most recently as the IAA SETI Permanent Committee. The Committee currently operates under the IAA Commission on Space Physical Sciences.

Click here to obtain, in Portable Document Format, the Proposal which established this Committee during its 2000 incarnation as a Study Group. You are welcome to download the free Adobe Acrobat ® reader to allow you to view PDF files. get Acrobat reader


The IAA SETI Permanent Committee continues many of the duties performed by its predecessor organizations, the late IAA SETI Committee and the IAA SETI Permanent Study Group (SPSG). The primary task of the Committee is to organize and conduct two SETI sessions at the annual International Astronautical Congresses. Committee members also conduct workshops and Cosmic Studies for the International Academy of Astronautics, and publish papers on topics related to the scientific Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence.


The SETI Permanent Committee is chaired by a Member of the International Academy of Astronautics. Its membership draws from members of the Basic Sciences section of the Academy, as well as other Sections, but is not restricted solely to Academy members. Prospective members are nominated by the Chair, and confirmed by the Committee as a whole, to serve a five-year, renewable term. Prospective members are chosen on the basis of their involvement in the SETI discipline, their contributions to SETI science or social science, and their willingness to serve actively as a member of the Committee. Current members of the Committee are listed on this Website. The current leadership of this Committee is as follows:

The terms of office and selection criteria for members of the SETI Permanent Committee leadership team may be found here.

Status Report

The Chair of the IAA SETI Permanent Committee provides a Status Report to the International Academy of Astronautics annually. Our most recently filed Status Report can be downloaded by following this link.


A website for the IAA SETI Committee was established by the SETI Institute in 1999. At its 2001 meeting in Toulouse, the then Study Group voted to rotate web hosting duties between participating organizations, on a three-year cycle. The Committee thanks the SETI Institute for its efforts, which form the basis of the current website.

In September, 2001, The SETI League, Inc. accepted responsibility for developing a new website for the SETI Committee in its present form, and has been hosting and maintaining this website since that time. These pages are accessed via the domain http://iaaseti.org, which users should bookmark, as it forwards to wherever the site is being physically hosted.

By majority vote of the Committee members assembled at its October 2006 meeting in Valencia, Spain, The SETI League, Inc. was assigned responsibility for continuing to host and maintain what is now known as the IAA SETI Permanent Committee Website on an ongoing basis, and has agreed to continue providing this service at the pleasure of the Chair of the Committee.

Contributions of website material by members of the IAA SETI Permanent Committee are hereby solicited. Such materials should be sent as straight ASCII text, via email to the Webmaster at drseti_at_verizon_dot_net. Please do not send email attachments without the prior approval of the Webmaster.

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