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The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) in the

Optical Spectrum


Charles Townes: Alright, well maybe we have come to the end. Would our leaders like to say anything, in closing?

Stuart Kingsley: Perhaps Monte would like to say a few words first.

Monte Ross: I just wanted to thank all the panel, the speakers and the audience for an interesting, stimulating discussion. I want to point out that the kind of talks that we had here the last two days are so different from the ordinary SPIE engineering conferences. For those like myself, we greatly enjoyed it and felt that it was a real advantage to be here and listen to everybody. Thank you.

Stuart Kingsley: Just before I close, I am just wondering whether people feel we should have another of these conferences in a year or so - Optical SETI II. [laughter] I don't know whether we can make it bigger and better.

Charles Townes: When we get signals! [laughter]

Stuart Kingsley: Certainly, we want to avoid meeting on a Friday - that's not a good day - we should meet earlier in the week.

I would like to thank all our speakers in this conference for taking part. I am particularly grateful for Barney's participation; even though we may not see eye to eye about the efficacy of the optical approach. We have been talking generally here about the various aspects of SETI. I don't suppose any of us have changed our minds concerning the efficacies of the different approaches to SETI in the last day and a half, though this may come in time.

I am interested in getting the word out, and letting more people consider these topics, especially people with a scientific interest. Keep an open mind, be prepared to consider other people's views and perhaps this could become somewhat of a unifying scientific theme in human society. I think it is a great stimulus for young people, especially in this country where we have been talking about the collapse of the educational system and the understanding of the sciences. The educational aspect of SETI and going out to the school systems was mentioned earlier by Peter Backus. Because there are far more people around who actually have optical telescopes and don't have dishes in their backyards, with the conference chairman coming along and sort of making a little bit of noise here that the optical approach to SETI indeed has merit, this might actually help conventional Microwave SETI activities. I am not down on the latter despite the subject of this conference. I think that as more people consider SETI, there will in time develop a consensus, bottom up so to speak, as information gradually flows to Members of Congress - the people who hold the purse strings. This will cause increased funding to become available for both Microwave and Professional Optical SETI. At this point I'd like to conclude these proceedings and again thank everyone for coming. Thank you.

Charles Townes: Thank you for arranging it all.


Copyright , 1993, SPIE

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