SETI Enthusiasts Gather at Harvard

For Immediate Release
August 04, 2004

Mat Kaplan
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +1-626-793-5100

On August 7, 2004, several of the world's foremost SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) scientists will participate in a public symposium at Harvard University sponsored by The Planetary Society. Presentations at "ET, Where Are You?" will range from what we have learned so far to what's next in searching for life - and intelligence - elsewhere in the universe.

Participants include Frank Drake, creator of the Drake Equation for estimating the number of intelligent civilizations that might exist in our galaxy; Paul Horowitz, who leads The Planetary Society-sponsored optical SETI program out of Harvard University; Dan Werthimer, project scientist for the world renowned SETI@home project, with more than 5 million participants worldwide; and Geoffrey Marcy, an avid hunter (and finder) of extrasolar planets, who will announce some newly discovered worlds at the symposium.

"For millennia, humans have wondered whether or not we are alone in the universe," said Bruce Betts, Director of Projects for The Planetary Society, "but only during the last few decades have we been able to actively search for other beings on other worlds. This symposium gives members of the public the rare chance to meet and learn from the scientists conducting the search."

All participants must be registered in advance (except for press). Over 150 participants are scheduled to attend.

Media are invited -- just present press credentials. The symposium will be held Saturday, August 7, 2004, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM at Harvard University in Science Center Hall C, 1 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA. For more information, call the Society at 626-793-5100 or visit the Society's website.

These scientists will also gather with other researchers for a Planetary Society hosted professional workshop on Friday, August 6 entitled, "The Significance of Negative SETI Results."

Symposium Speakers:

  • Kent Cullers, Director of SETI Research and Development at the SETI Institute
  • Frank Drake, Chairman Emeritus of the SETI Institute;
  • Paul Horowitz, professor at Harvard University, who heads the world's longest continuous SETI search;
  • Guillermo Lemarchand, professor at the University of Buenos Aires and head of The Planetary Society's META II program in Argentina;
  • Geoffrey Marcy, professor at the University of California at Berkeley;
  • Tom McDonough, SETI coordinator for The Planetary Society and science fiction author;
  • Woodruff Sullivan, professor at the University of Washington's Center for Astrobiology and Early Evolution;
  • Dan Werthimer, professor at the University of California at Berkeley and project scientist for SETI@home.


  • Bruce Betts, Director of Projects for The Planetary Society
  • Bruce Murray, co-founder and Chairman of the Board of The Planetary Society

About The Planetary Society

With a global community of more than 2 million space enthusiasts, The Planetary Society is the world’s largest and most influential space advocacy organization. Founded in 1980 by Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray, and Louis Friedman and today led by CEO Bill Nye, we empower the public to take a meaningful role in advancing space exploration through advocacy, education outreach, scientific innovation, and global collaboration. Together with our members and supporters, we’re on a mission to explore worlds, find life off Earth, and protect our planet from dangerous asteroids. To learn more, visit