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2nd SETI Conference, London 2010 Print

Second IAA Symposium on

6-8 October 2010, at the  Kavli Royal Society International Centre
(Chicheley Hall, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom)

Conference Rationale

50 years ago, from April to July 1960, radioastronomer Frank Drake carried out humankind's first search for other civilizations by scanning 400 kHz of bandwidth for interstellar radio transmissions. Since then, much has been learnt about life and its evolution, and over the last 15 years, more than 400 planets orbiting stars other than the Sun have been detected. While humankind has probably always speculated about life on other worlds, we now know that such worlds exist, and if the conditions on nearby planets are right, current or upcoming technology provides living generations with a realistic chance of witnessing the detection of extra-terrestrial life. Consequently, the odds for the success of SETI (the “Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence”), currently entering a new era with the deployment of a next generation of radio telescopes such as the Allen Telescope Array (ATA), the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR), and the Square-Kilometre Array (SKA), have much changed. Moreover, rather than just “passively” listening to radio signals, one may become “active” and deliberately transmit signals in order to enhance the probability of making contact with other hypothetical galactic technological civilizations. Besides a scientific agenda, such a process also involves a manifold of societal issues that are to be addressed.

As Frank Drake likes to point out, the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence is really a search for ourselves – who we are and what our place might be in the grand cosmic scheme of things. In order to understand where we come from, why we are here, and where we will be going, it requires detailed knowledge about a huge variety of processes extending over many classical disciplines dealing with topics ranging from the origin of life and its evolution over the formation of planets to the evolution of civilizations and technology.

The recent years have already seen the field of “astrobiology” emerging, combining expertise from in particular biology, chemistry, astronomy, and geosciences. The IAA symposium on “Searching for life signatures” will discuss progress on all related aspects and what it will mean for learning about the role of mankind.


Deadline to register is Tuesday 28 September 2010.
Please send the registration form by email to "office  at"
or by fax to 33 1 47 23 82 16

Registration form

Call For Papers

Final Program

Papers are solicited on the topics of life and its evolution, planets orbiting the Sun and other stars, habitability and life signatures, active and passive SETI, as well as on the technological and societal aspects of finding extra-terrestrial life and establishing “contact”.

The Scientific Programme Committee is co-chaired by Prof. John Zarnecki, Dr. Martin Dominik, Dr. Claudio Maccone and Dr. Jean-Michel Contant.
Abstract no longer than 400 words to be sent by email to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it (Deadline was 15 June 2010).

Conference Speakers

Stephen Baxter
Rosalba Bonaccorsi
Richard Carrigan
Milan Cirkovic
Satalas Das
Kathryn Denning
Martin Dominik
William Edmonson
John Elliott
Heino Falcke
James Gardner
Monica Grady
Lee Grenfell
Claudio Maccone
Ian Morrison
Alan Penny
Michael Simakov
Carl de Vito
Alexander Zaitsev
Meeting Venue

The Kavli Royal Society International Centre  – © The Royal Society

The meeting will take place at the Kavli Royal Society International Centre, which is located at the recently renovated Chicheley Hall in Buckinghamshire, a Georgian House surrounded by 75 acres of gardens and ground, which is situated 88 km from the centre of London.

Lunch and dinner will be provided at the Kavli Royal Society International Centre, at which bedrooms (and breakfast) will be available for about half of the participants; the other half can be accommodated at nearby hotels, to and from which transport will be arranged.
Accommodation and Travel

The availability of rooms at Chicheley Hall for those arriving on Tuesday, 5 October, for the IAA symposium only, cannot be guaranteed. Nearby hotel accommodation however will be available. Departure from Chicheley Hall will be on Friday, 8 October, after breakfast.

Nearby hotels with agreed special rates are:
•    Holiday Inn, Newport Pagnell (5.2 km, 7 min)
•    The Swan Revived, Newport Pagnell (3.9 km, 9 min)
•    Cranfield Management Centre (7.6 km, 18 min)
•    Jurys Inn (11.3 km, 18 min)
•    Moore Place Hotel (Best Western) (16.2 km, 15 min)

The airport closest to the Kavli Royal Society International Centre Is London Luton. Trains run on a frequent schedule between Luton station (linked with the airport by shuttle bus) and Bedford (17 km from the meeting venue). Taxis from/to Luton airport are not unaffordable though, in particular if shared.

Bedford station is also directly connected to London St Pancras (adjacent to King’s Cross, and about 600 m from Euston station). Alternatively, there are train services between London Euston and Milton Keynes (13 km from the venue).

If you are travelling with baggage from/to London Heathrow airport, we recommend the direct stairs-free route with the London Underground Piccadilly line between Heathrow and King’s Cross St. Pancras to board a train for Beford from London St Pancras. This takes about 20 min longer than the the fastest (45 min), but not the cheapest, way from London Heathrow airport to Euston or St Pancras stations, which is by Heathrow Express to London Paddington, and then via London Underground Hammersmith & City or Circle Line to Euston Square (for Euston station, 200 m) or King’s Cross St. Pancras (do not try to board a Circle line train from the Circle and District Line platforms, or you will have to change at Edgware Road). Due to the lack of escalators or lifts at both Paddington station and Euston Square, you however have to carry your baggage up and down stairs.

The bus from Jodrell Bank Observatory will drop off at Crewe station at 17:00 (for London, Paris, and other destinations on the UK train network). Participants are invited to indicate during pre-registration whether they would like transport to other nearby destinations or further accommodation being arranged.

Visit to Jodrell Bank Observatory

Participants will be given the opportunity to visit the Jodrell Bank Observatory with its world-famous Lovell telescope. A bus will leave from Chicheley Hall just after breakfast on 8 October, and arrival is expected shortly before lunchtime. A programme of lunch, technical visits and talks will be arranged. Please see for more information about visiting Jodrell Bank Observatory.

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