Lomberg, a respected space artist living in Hawaii, was the recipient of a Best Ideas Award sponsored by the peer-reviewed periodical Contact In Context. Over the years, he contributed the illustrations and artistic designs to several of Carl Sagan's books, his TV series Cosmos, and the film adaptation of his novel Contact. Lomberg was design director for NASA's Voyager record, as well as the Portrait of Humanity, a photograph which had initially been scheduled to fly aboard the Cassini spacecraft, but which sadly was deleted from the flight manifest prior to launch. His recent Contact In Context article "Portrait of Humanity," which this award honors, tells the story of that abortive attempt at announcing humankind's place in the cosmos.
This year, in addition to the award to Jon Lomberg, the editors of Contact in Context decided to recognize an entire website instead of a particular publication. A second Best Ideas Award goes to the SETI League website for providing a wide-ranging forum for creative, innovative, and controversial ideas. Such a forum, free from ultraconservative prejudice and subtle censorship, is especially important in the SETI field -- a field that clearly needs fresh ideas and voices. As the SETI League executive director and webmaster, Dr. H. Paul Shuch receives a Best Ideas Award for creating and nurturing such a forum.
Without the vision, enthusiasm, energy, and funding of Mr. Richard Factor over the past decade, the SETI League would likely not exist today. Factor runs Eventide, Inc., a high-tech electronics company in New Jersey. Founder of the nonprofit SETI League, and its President since its inception in 1994, he is an important leader in the privatization of SETI. Factor established The SETI League in response to the US Congress having canceled the NASA SETI program in 1993. Without Richard Factor there would be no SETI League website to provide a home for unusual ideas from outside of mainstream thinking. Consequently, the editors of Contact in Context declare Richard Factor a winner of a Best Ideas Award for making this website possible.
Honorable Mention goes to James N. Gardner for his book called BIOCOSM, The New Scientific Theory of Evolution: Intelligent Life is the Architect of the Universe.
Ed Cole, a prominent amateur radio operator, was honored with The SETI League's annual Orville Greene Service Award. He has been an active contributor to SETI League technical activities for a number of years. He serves as The SETI League's volunteer Regional Coordinator for Alaska, participates actively on the organization's various technical email discussion lists, has given papers at previous SETICon Technical Symposia, has contributed articles and software to the group's website, and last year conducted the first SETICon Hardware Workshop.
Earlier this year, The SETI League recognized Italian engineer Stelio Montebugnoli with its annual Giordano Bruno Memorial Award, for his significant technical contributions to SETI science. Montebugnoli, who heads the SETI Italia program at the Institute for Radio Astronomy, National Council of Research, near Bologna, Italy, received his award at the EuroSETI04 meeting in Heppenheim, Germany, this past April.
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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this page last updated 8 August 2004
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