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Optical SETI Pioneer Receives Bruno Award
For more information contact: Dr. H. Paul Shuch, Executive Director
(201) 641-1770, or email info_at_setileague_dot_org

For Release After 26 March 2000, Please

 thumbnail LITTLE FERRY, NJ.., 26 March, 2000 -- The SETI League, Inc., leaders in the privatized Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, has awarded its highest honor to a leading proponent of Optical SETI (OSETI). Photonics engineer Dr. Stuart Kingsley, 51, director of the Columbus Optical SETI Observatory, today received the coveted Giordano Bruno Memorial Award for his pioneering efforts in the search for laser signals from space.

For forty years, the world's SETI programs have been dominated by microwave technology, while OSETI proponents have argued that laser communication is at least as likely a mechanism as radio for establishing interstellar contact. Dr. Kingsley's has been a voice in the wilderness for at least the past ten years, his optical observatory among the first to search for laser communications from space. The scientific establishment is only now beginning to embrace OSETI, due in large part to Kingsley's research, publications and conference presentations.

Since 1990 Stuart Kingsley has been conducting what has become the world's longest-running optical SETI program, from an observatory dome behind his home in Columbus, OH. His modest 25 cm diameter reflector telescope searches the 550 nm spectrum for pulsed lasers emanating from nearby stars. While most SETI scientists concentrated on the more conventional microwave spectrum, Dr. Kingsley's optical search has received support from such visionaries as Nobel laureate Dr. Charles Townes and novelist Sir Arthur C. Clarke.

As vindication of Kingsley's vision, the past five years have seen the launch of half a dozen ambitious OSETI projects at the Harvard-Smithsonian Astronomical Observatory; the University of California, Berkeley; the Lick observatory in California; on the Keck telescope in Hawaii; at Perth and Sydney, Australia; and in the Czech Republic. Dr. Kingsley now chairs the SETI League's Optical SETI Committee, through which he encourages other experimenters to embrace OSETI.

Dr. Kingsley's curriculum vita may be found on the web, at

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, 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.

P.S. Tearsheets are always appreciated. Thank you.

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