SETI 2020: A Roadmap for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

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Edited by Ron Ekers, Kent Cullers, John Billingham, and Louis Scheffer, Foreward by Philip Morrison

The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence is on the brink of a renaissance. Four decades after the first modern experiment seeking signals from other civilizations, a slew of new technologies and fresh ideas are promising to rapidly expand the search.

Recognizing these opportunities, the SETI Institute carefully assembled a tiger team of top astronomers, SETI researchers, engineers, and technology gurus from the Silicon Valley to peer into the future and judge the path ahead. Their three-year effort is distilled in a remarkable new book: SETI 2020. It is a prescient and comprehensive study of how SETI scientists should direct their efforts between now and the year 2020.

SETI 2020 maps out future strategies by taking a fresh look at the challenge of finding evidence for extraterrestrial technologies, and then proposing how best to meet it. Within the pages of this volume, you'll find the compelling arguments for building new radio telescopes as large arrays of relatively small antennas - a scheme that is now being implemented in the Allen Telescope Array. There is a thorough discussion of new types of telescopes that can survey the entire sky at once. Of particular interest is the book's extensive treatment of optical SETI - the search for signals beamed our way using high-powered, pulsed lasers or their equivalent.

SETI 2020 is a work that's interesting for both the layman and the scientifically sophisticated. It is the definitive publication in this fascinating field, one that will give readers both big picture ideas and specific, technical detail. It's an indispensable resource for all those interested in the exciting new efforts to detect other intelligence in the cosmos.