PHILADELPHIA, PA.., November 13, 1999 -- For the fifth year in a row H. Paul Shuch, the singer/scientist popularly known as Dr. SETI, has introduced his latest folk songs at Philcon, the annual convention of the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society. Like past efforts, this year's offerings deal with the search for life in space.
"I use music to educate and entertain, of course," says Dr. Shuch, a retired Pennsylvania State University professor, "but my songs also have a political agenda. They seek to involve the general public in scientific pursuits. There is a perception among my colleagues that the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, for example, is too complex to be left to the layman. My music suggests that, on the contrary, SETI is too important to be left to the scientists."
Among Shuch's latest efforts, receiving it's world premier at Philcon this weekend, is "NASA's Engineers," lamenting the death of the space program and sung a capella to the tune of "Barrett's Privateers," a contemporary sea chanty in Nineteenth Century style. "The original, by the late Canadian folk singer Stan Rogers, was about piracy, politics, deceit and defeat," notes Shuch with a wry smile. "You can see the parallels to the space program, can't you?"
Shuch's songs about the privatized search for life in space can be found in Sing a Song of SETI (ISBN 0-9650707-1-9, The SETI League, Inc., $10) or on The SETI League, Inc. site on the World Wide Web at http://www.setileague.org/songbook.
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 30 November 2002
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