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SETI Permanent Committee Print

IAA Permanent Committee on the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI)

1/ Terms of Reference:

SETI is an acronym for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. The primary goal is to examine all aspects of possible future contact with extraterrestrial civilizations, with special reference to international issues and activities. The underlying science of the study of life in the universe includes relevant astrophysical and astronomical phenomena, the nature and distribution of the biogenic elements and compounds, the formation of life-bearing planets, the origin and evolution of biological systems, complex life and intelligence, and the emergence of technological civilizations. Associated missions and technology include planetary science missions designed to search for evidence of extraterrestrial life, the astronomical search for extrasolar planets, and the recovery of possible Martian microfossils on the Earth. The science and technology of SETI itself includes the development of search strategies, and the underlying intellectual foundation, the design, development, construction and operation of telescopes and signal detection systems, studies of their future location in space or on the lunar farside, rejection of radio frequency interference, the archiving of SETI data, and analysis of search results.

The SETI Permanent Committee will also continue to lead in discussions of the implications of detecting extraterrestrial signals: for example, in the areas of philosophy, historical analogs, anthropology, legal, political and institutional issues, sociology, psychology and theology, and interactions with the media and the educational system. All issues concerning possible future transmissions from Earth deliberately intended for ETI will also be included. Continuing collaboration will be sought with the International Institute of Space Law on some of these questions.

In addressing all of the above, the SETI Permanent Committee will seek learned papers for presentation at the SETI sessions of the International Astronautical Congress, publish the best of these papers in Acta Astronautica or elsewhere, generate and conduct, or support special Academy conferences or studies on important topics, and play a proactive role in the continuing study of extraterrestrial life and intelligence. Where appropriate, the SETI Permanent Committee will collaborate also with other committees of the Academy and the Federation, with the Bioastronomy Commission of the International Astronomical Union, and other national and international bodies and societies with an interest in SETI. These terms of reference exclude any consideration of UFO phenomena.
The SETI Permanent Study has four areas of particular concern:
1.    Issues of Policy Concerning Communications with Extraterrestrial Intelligence. (Ernst Fasan AUSTRIA)
2.    SETI Post-Detection Science and Technology. (Ray Norris AUSTRALIA)
3.    Lunar SETI Studies. (Claudio Maccone ITALY)
4.    Media and Education. (Roger Malina FRANCE)

2/ Activity:

Declaration of Principles concerning the Conduct of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

Meeting minutes, Paris, France, 20 March, 2015
Meeting minutes, Toronto, Canada, October 3rd, 2014
Meeting minutes, Paris, France, March 20, 2014
Meeting meeting, Beijing, China, September 24, 2013
Meeting minutes, Naples, Italy, October 3rd, 2012
Meeting minutes, Cape Town, South Africa, October 5th, 2011
Meeting minutes, Prague, Czech Republic, September 30th, 2010

3/ Membership:

Chair: Maccone Claudio
Co-Chair: Garrett Michael
Co-Chair: Shuch Paul
Secretary: Siemion Andrew

Almar Ivan
Back Impallomeni Elizabeth
Carrigan Richard
Cirkovic Milan M.
Clar Richard
Cosmovici Cristiano
Davies Paul
Davis Michael
DeBiase Robert
Denning Kathryn
Dick Steven
Dominik Martin
Drake Frank
Dumas Stephane
Dutil Yvan
Elliott John
Fasan Ernst
Gallicchio Jason
Garrett Michael
Herzing Denise
Howard Andrew
Lemarchand Guillermo
Malina Roger
Mead Curtis
Monari Jader
Montebugnoli Stelio
Morison Ian
Musso Paolo
Norris Ray
Oliver Carol
Ollongren Alexander
Perek Lubos
Pluchino Salvatore
Ramírez de Arellano y Haro Rosa
Rummel John
Shostak Seth
Sterns Patricia
Stone Remington
Tarter Donald
Tarter Jill
Tennen Leslie
Vakoch Douglas
Walton Lori

4/ SETI Protocols

One of the functions of the IAA SETI Permanent Committee is to establish protocols to be followed by SETI scientists in the detection, analysis, verification, announcement, and response to signals from extraterrestrial civilizations. Follow the links below to download copies of the various SETI protocols, relevant articles, and related proposals.

•    Cover Letter for Post-Detection Protocols
•    SETI Post-Detection Protocols (adopted 1989)
•    Declaration of Principles (revised 2010)
•    Proposed SETI Reply Protocols
•    Position paper: Sending Communications to Extraterrestrial Civilizations (1996 draft)
•    Position paper: Sending Communications to Extraterrestrial Civilizations (2007 revision)
•    A Contrarian Perspective on Altruism: the Dangers of First Contact
•    Ten Decisions That Could Shake the World
•    Rio Scale for quantifying significance of a SETI detection
•    San Marino Scale for quantifying potential hazard of transmission from Earth


Membership Roster (2014)

Minutes, October 2009
Minutes, September 2008
Minutes, September 2007
Minutes, October 2006
Minutes, October 2005
Minutes, October 2004
Minutes, September 2003
Minutes, October 2002
Minutes, September 2001
Minutes, September 2000
Minutes, October 1999
Status report, March 2007
Status report, September 2006

Link to SETI conference website: soon available

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