Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is donating another $13.5 million to the
SETI program (Search for Extraterrestrial Life). It's a small chunk of
change for such a large, ambitious project, but no doubt the SETI folks
will appreciate it. It's very difficult to raise funding for a program
that many people still believe is a complete waste of time. But I think
Paul Allen is right to support such projects. There's little question
that we are not alone in the universe, and the SETI program is the best
chance we have of proving that.
With the contribution, Mr Allen will have given $US25 million for the
construction of the Allen Telescope Array (ATA), a network of 350 radio
telescopes being built to find signs of life in space, Thomas Pierson
said, director of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI)
Institute in the US.
The announcement of Mr Allen's donation coincided with the completion
of the project's research and development phases, which Mr Allen funded
with an $US11.5 million donation.
"I am very excited to be supporting one of the world's most visionary
efforts to seek basic answers to some of the fundamental question about
our universe and what other civilisations may exist elsewhere," Mr Allen
said in a ceremony in Mountain View, California, where SETI is based.
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