BERKELEY, CA.., December 23, 1996 -- Dr. Malcolm Raff, astrophysics advisor to the non-profit, membership-supported SETI League, Inc., has made a generous contribution to that educational and scientific organization, in memory of astronomer Dr. Carl Sagan. The strongest advocate of and most visible spokesman for the scientific Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI), Sagan died on December 20, 1996 after a two year illness. Raff's contribution will be used to further The SETI League's Project Argus search for life in space, a very real sky survey which took its name from the fictional SETI project in Sagan's 1985 novel Contact.
Raff feels the day for SETI success is close at hand, despite congressional cancellation of NASA's SETI program three years ago. He is encouraged by the discovery in the past year of a half-dozen planetary systems around other Sun-like stars, and mounting evidence that microbial lifeforms may have existed on Mars and elsewhere in the cosmos. "I'm glad Carl was here to enjoy these developments," notes Raff, "and only wish he had lived to witness the first radio signals detected from another civilization." Sagan himself wrote shortly before his death, "we are at the very beginning of a systematic SETI program, covering the whole sky, the full radio frequency spectrum, etc. To me, this seems hardly the moment to give up. To search is key."
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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