May 20, 2011

What would Carl Sagan do... about the SETI shutdown?

SETI Funding and Carl Sagan

As you may or may not know, the Allen Tellescope Array utilized by SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) has had it's funding cut.  As a result, the project will necessarily need to be shut down.

The array costs about $2.5 million per year to operate, and now that government funding has been cut, even with separate funding agencies and independent donors in place, that target cannot be reached. 

From the SETI press release on the matter:
In an April 22, 2011 email (PDF) to Allen Telescope Array stakeholder level donors, SETI Institute CEO Tom Pierson described in detail the recent decision by U.C. Berkeley, our partner in the Array, to reduce operations of the Hat Creek Radio Observatory (and thus the Allen Telescope Array) to a hibernation state effective this month. NSF University Radio Observatory funding to Berkeley for HCRO operations has been reduced to approximately one-tenth of its former level and, concurrently, growing State of California budget shortfalls have severely reduced the amount of state funds available for support of the HCRO site.

SETI has a donation page.  Hey, if you happen to know a millionaire who happens to be able to look a little bit beyond the next day or two of market fluctuations, you know where to send them.
And then we have this vid from the greatest science communicator of all time, Carl Sagan:

Fom another great blog, Blogiverse - Talking About Everything.

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