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CONTACT: David F. Salisbury, News Service (415) 725-1944;

Search for extraterrestrial intelligence subject of public lecture

If you liked the movie Contact then you probably will enjoy Frank Drake's lecture on "The Search for Intelligent Life in the Universe."

Drake will discuss how recent discoveries of other planetary systems and the controversial evidence for ancient life on Mars have strengthened the long-held view that the development of intelligent life on Earth was the result of common processes that should have occurred in many planetary systems.

Drake will deliver the 18th annual Bunyan Lecture at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 11, in the Terman Lecture Hall at Stanford University. His free, public talk is sponsored by Stanford's astronomy program.

Drake has been one of the major forces behind efforts to search for evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence. Currently professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of California-Santa Cruz, he organized the first modern search for extraterrestrial intelligence (Project OZMA) in 1960; devised the Drake Equation that provides an estimate of the number of communicative alien civilizations that exist in the galaxy; constructed the "Arecibo Message of 1974," the first interstellar message transmitted into space by radio targeted at extraterrestrial civilizations; and is the founder and president of the SETI Institute in Menlo Park.

On Thursday, Feb. 12, Drake will give a technical seminar on his research titled "Progress in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence" at 4 p.m. in the Varian second floor conference hall. The discussion will be geared toward a smaller, academic audience.

For more information on the World Wide Web: SETI Institute home page ]


By David F. Salisbury

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