Over the half century of its existence, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) has had its highs and lows. While no evidence of civilizations over and above Earth has been detected throughout that time, SETI assignments have turn out to be increasing advanced, seeking a lot more stars over broader swaths of the electromagnetic spectrum. These efforts, although, are usually funded on shoestrings, and these strings can be easily reduce, such as when Congress voted in 1993 to terminate NASA funding of SETI searches. Just last thirty day period, the SETI Institute announced it had suspended operations of its Allen Telescope Array in northern California due to the fact of funding cuts by its spouse, the University of California Berkeley. While the announcement was misinterpreted by some in the media as a shutdown of SETI alone, it’s clearly a setback for SETI attempts.
The book’s title is in element an homage to a 1973 book of the exact same title edited by Carl Sagan, but also indicates that its subject make a difference contains not just listening for signals but also transmitting them.
Into this unsettled environment arrives Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence, a vast-ranging look at many factors of SETI and past. The book serves the proceedings of the 2010 Astrobiology Science Convention (the “Woodstock for astrobiologists”, as the book’s foreword describes the celebration), which focused on SETI. The first third of the book functions a set of papers on numerous facets of SETI, from technical examinations of SETI problems, like the influence of the ionized interstellar medium on the propagation of transmissions, to critique papers on the status of different radio and optical SETI searches in the United States and other countries.
The book’s title, although, hints at one thing a lot more. In the preface, editor Douglas Vakoch explains that the title is in portion an homage to a 1973 book of the identical title edited by Carl Sagan that highlighted the proceedings of a 1971 US-USSR joint conference on SETI, which at time was more generally named CETI ( via thespacereview.com ).