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SARA Announces Keynote Speaker
For more information contact: Dr. H. Paul Shuch, Executive Director Emeritus
(201) 641-1770, or email info_at_setileague_dot_org

Little Ferry, NJ.., January 2008 -- The Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers (SARA), a SETI League Affiliated Society that represents several hundred amateur radio astronomers around the world, is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Steven J. Dick, chief historian of NASA, as Keynote Speaker for its annual technical conference, being held from 29 June to 2 July 2008 at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Green Bank, WV. Dick's presentation, "Cosmology and Biology," dealing with the Anthropic Principle and the search for life in space, is scheduled for Monday morning, 30 June 2008.

Before joining NASA in 2003, Dr. Dick worked as an astronomer and historian of science at the U. S. Naval Observatory for 25 years. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in astrophysics (1971), Master of Arts and Ph.D. (1977) in history and philosophy of science from Indiana University. He is a well-known expert in the field of astrobiology and its cultural implications. He spent three years at the Naval Observatory's Southern Hemisphere station in New Zealand. Dick served as the first Historian of the Naval Observatory, as well as Acting Chief of its Nautical Almanac Office.

Dick served on the panel to examine the societal implications of possible life in the Mars rock. He received the NASA Group Achievement Award, "For initiating the new NASA multidisciplinary program in astrobiology, including the definition of the field of astrobiology, the formulation and initial establishment of the NASA Astrobiology Institute, and the development of a Roadmap to guide future NASA investments in astrobiology." He is also the recipient of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, and the 2006 LeRoy E. Doggett Prize for Historical Astronomy of the American Astronomical Society. He has served as Chairman of the Historical Astronomy Division of the American Astronomical Society, as President of the History of Astronomy Commission of the International Astronomical Union, and as President of the Philosophical Society of Washington. He is a corresponding member of the International Academy of Astronautics.

He is on the Editorial Board of several journals, including the Journal for the History of Astronomy, and is an associate editor of the International Journal of Astrobiology. He was Chairman of the Historical Astronomy Division of the American Astronomical Society (1993-1994) and President of the History of Astronomy Commission of the International Astronomical Union (1997-2000). He has also served as President of the Philosophical Society of Washington.

Dick has authored more than 100 publications, including: Plurality of Worlds: The Origins of the Extraterrestrial Life Debate from Democritus to Kant (Cambridge University Press, 1982); The Biological Universe: The Twentieth Century Extraterrestrial Life Debate and the Limits of Science (Cambridge University Press, 1996); and Life on Other Worlds (1998), the latter translated into four languages. He was also editor of Many Worlds: The New Universe, Extraterrestrial Life and the Theological Implications (2000), and (with Keith Cowing) Risk and Exploration: Earth, Sea and Stars (NASA SP-2005-4701 (Washington, D.C., 2005).

His history of the Naval Observatory, Sky and Ocean Joined: The U. S. Naval Observatory, 1830-2000 (Cambridge University Press, 2002), received the John Lyman Award of the North American Society for Oceanic History for best book in 2002 in Science & Technology. It also won the Naval Observatory's Captain James Melville Gilliss Award for extraordinary dedication and exemplary service. Dick is also the author (with James Strick) of The Living Universe: NASA and the Development of Astrobiology (Rutgers University Press). His latest books are an edited volume (with Roger Launius) on Critical Issues in the History of Spaceflight (NASA SP-4702, 2006), and Societal Impact of Spaceflight, also edited with Roger Launius (2007).

At the 2008 gathering, Steve will be helping SARA to celebrate the club's 27th Anniversary. SETI League members and guests are invited to participate in the annual Conference. If you would like to present a paper yourself, please see SARA's 2008 Call for Papers.

Largely using radio telescopes and optical telescopes, SETI scientists seek to determine whether humankind is alone in the universe. Since Congress terminated NASA's SETI funding in 1993, The SETI League and other scientific groups have privatized the research. Amateur and professional scientists interested in participating in the search for intelligent alien life, and citizens wishing to help support it, should email 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 scientific Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence.

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

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