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Searching for Extraterrestrial Intelligence: SETI Past, Present, and Future (The Frontiers Collection) 2011th Edition
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From the reviews:
“This book gives an in-depth overview of the history of SETI … . if you’re interested in Extraterrestrial Intelligence, though not necessarily in radio-astronomy and the specific SETI projects, this book is a good encyclopedia type of book. If you manage to read it all from cover to cover, you’ll be certainly able to impress anyone coming to ask you whether you’ve seen little green men while observing Mars or anyone trying to corner you with questions about aliens.” (Kadri Tinn, AstroMadness.com, September, 2013)
“From October 30 to November 3, 1961, a small group of experts from a wide range of disciplines met in an attempt to estimate the number of technological civilizations in the galaxy. This book is a celebration of that meeting, and it is fitting that its 30 articles are written by experts from diverse fields. … the material is accessible to a lay audience, and the writing is generally clear and engaging. … Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readership levels.” (T. Barker, Choice, Vol. 49 (4), December, 2011)
“It is fascinating to see how much has changed, and how much hasn’t changed, with the arrival of this hefty tome nearly half a century later. … if you have a serious interest in SETI, this book provides the wide, eye-opening overview that other book lack. A must buy.” (Keith Cooper, Astronomy Now, June, 2011)
From the Back Cover
This book is a collection of essays written by the very scientists and engineers who have led, and continue to lead, the scientific quest known as SETI, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Divided into three parts, the first section, ‘The Spirit of SETI Past’, written by the surviving pioneers of this then emerging discipline, reviews the major projects undertaken during the first 50 years of SETI science and the results of that research.
In the second section, ‘The Spirit of SETI Present’, the present-day science and technology is discussed in detail, providing the technical background to contemporary SETI instruments, experiments, and analytical techniques, including the processing of the received signals to extract potential alien communications.
In the third and final section, ‘The Spirit of SETI Future’, the book looks ahead to the possible directions that SETI will take in the next 50 years, addressing such important topics as interstellar message construction, the risks and assumptions of interstellar communications, when we might make contact, what aliens might look like and what is likely to happen in the aftermath of such a contact.
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Top Customer Reviews
I've got lots of books about SETI, including a copy of Iosif Shklovskii and Carl Sagan's 'Intelligent Life in the Universe'. Comparing that book to this new one, it's fascinating to see how much has changed in SETI, and how much hasn't. The technology available now allows searches across billions of narrowband channels with rapid analysis, searches are beginning at optical wavelengths for laser signals, while a million people contribute to the greatest super-computing project ever in the form of SETI@home. And yet the same uncertainties remain, from Fermi's Paradox to the never-ending battle for funding.
Edited by the SETI League's H Paul Shuch, SETI: Past Present and Future features essays, articles and technical treatises from 26 experts in the field, including the SETI Institute's Jill Tarter and Seth Shostak, former head of NASA's SETI programme John Billingham, astronomer Claudio Maccone, science fiction writers David Brin and Stephen Baxter, anthropologist Kathryn Denning, Shuch himself, and many others. A few of the chapters are highly technical and mathematical, but the vast majority are accessible to the intelligent layman. As Shuch says in his preface, "We, the authors, invite you to seek your own level of comfort, and then to challenge yourself, to reach beyond it."
Some chapters have been published elsewhere, but most are new (to this reviewer). The best chapters include overviews of Project Cyclops and the mystery of the `Wow!Read more ›
If a discovery was actually made in our life time it may offer a chance at seeing if a civilisation can survive wars, greed, population expansion, environmental issues and energy needs. If so then it is postulated this knowledge would act as a positive catalyst for our own world.
An expensive book, thoughtfull thinking but not accessible in parts to everybody i.e. non scientists but an imnportant collection of writings with something for everyone.
My view is we should keep looking and while no politician would be brave enough (or foolish enough) to put this kind of expenditure on their political campaign its the public who have a right to know what is out their and whether we are capable of managing our own future by educating them we can possibly influence the politicians that SETI is the right thing to do. A discovery of this type may come at just the right time but is only possible if there is a push to keep looking and expand on the searches. Best to read the book and decide for oneself and then spread the word, the stakes are higher than most people would realise.