Tag: Penn State

Penn State Center to Focus on Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

by Geoff Rushton                   March 4, 2019                     (statecollege.com)

• The Pennsylvania State University, or “Penn State”, has received a $2.5 million endowment from alumnus John and Natalie Patton, plus another $1 million anonymous pledge, to create “PSETI” – Penn State’s SETI program (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). It will be called the Penn State Extraterrestrial Intelligence Center.

• PSETI will create a “world-class SETI research program,” establish graduate curriculum to train the next generation of researchers, initiate a competitive research grants program, coordinate conferences and symposia and establish a permanent, worldwide SETI community.

• SETI is an international scientific effort that seeks to answer whether ours is the only technologically-capable species in the Milky Way galaxy. Jason Wright, an associate professor of astronomy and astrophysics who will lead the center, told Science Magazine the field has been lacking in academic training.

• SETI also has been lacking in financial support since 1993, when Congress prohibited NASA from funding it. Wright told Science that the prospect of no funding and few jobs has discouraged researchers from pursuing the field, and that he had identified only five people with doctoral degrees in SETI-related research.

 

Penn State is planning to establish an international research center dedicated to the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), an initiative that would be one of only a few academic SETI research centers and would offer a graduate program training the next generation of researchers.

The university announced last week the first two donations, totaling $3.5 million, toward creating the Penn State Extraterrestrial Intelligence Center.

SETI is an international scientific effort that seeks to answer whether ours is the only technologically-capable species in the Milky Way galaxy. Jason Wright, an associate professor of astronomy and astrophysics who will lead the center, told Science Magazine the field has been lacking in academic training.

“There really isn’t an academic ecosystem for the field as a whole,” Jason Wright, associate professor of astronomy PSETI Center head. “You can’t work on it if you can’t hire students and postdocs.”

SETI also has been lacking in financial support since 1993, when Congress prohibited NASA from funding it. Wright told Science that the prospect of no funding and few jobs has discouraged researchers from pursuing the field, and that he had identified only five people with doctoral degrees in SETI-related research.

Penn State will draw on its infrastructure and expertise to provide PSETI with endowment funding and administrative framework. The university’s existing astronomy and astrophysics departments and centers make it a “natural home” for a new center.

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE

 

FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. ExoNews.org distributes this material for the purpose of news reporting, educational research, comment and criticism, constituting Fair Use under 17 U.S.C § 107. Please contact the Editor at ExoNews with any copyright issue.

Copyright © 2019 Exopolitics Institute News Service. All Rights Reserved.