A group of scientists in the United Kingdom are setting out to form their own SETI network. For those unaware, SETI is the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Though there are numerous SETI projects being carried out by many different educational and corporate institutions, the SETI institute in the United States is one of the biggest advocates for SETI research. Now it seems the UK is about to get its own SETI network.
The BBC reports that academics from 11 institutions are banding together to coordinate their SETI research and create a UK-based SETI network. The group has set up a rather primitive website that lists astronomer Martin Rees as patron. The group's first order of business was to arrange three SETI sessions at this year's National Astronomy Meeting (NAM2013) at St. Andrews University last Friday. Speaking about the sessions, the UK SETI Research Network said:
"There is a small but active group of SETI researchers in the UK, who need a forum to discuss their work. Further, we hope that the existence of the sessions will excite interest in people in the UK astronomical community, who have been thinking about SETI, to contribute their work. We also hope that by exposing the whole range of UK SETI activities to the community it will promote a wider understanding of, and activity in, this subject, and the justifications for the allocation of a small fraction of the UK astronomy budget."
According to the BBC, the group is looking for roughly £1 million per year from funding agencies to support new research, listening time on radio telescopes, and data analysis.