Profile: Anthony Coleman


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Personal background
I am from north-west England. I like to read, listen to radio comedy and drama and keep up to date with current world events. I try to keep up with the world of technology, a little astronomy, a dash of web authoring and the world of science fiction.

I joined the SETI@home project in May 1999 and in those pre BOINC days I used to run SETI@home continuously for months at a time. I participated in the BONIC Beta project before the public SETI@home/BONIC Launch. Since the transition to BOINC I have had short runs, often a month at a time running SETI@home and other BOINC projects around the clock. For the winter months I don't keep my computers continuously running in order to help keep the electricity bills down.

I took over the reins of the SETI@home BOINC Team SETI.UK from the original founder some years ago.
Thoughts about SETI and SETI@home
I believe that extraterrestrial life must exist. The size of the known universe is such that the chance of their not being any other life but that on our own planet seems remote. I don't know when we will discover extraterrestrial life. Given the distance between solar systems and other galaxy's it's hard to predict. Could be today, or maybe not for a million years or perhaps even longer.

I think that if we were to discover extraterrestrial life it would mean that we would have to rethink our attitudes towards life on a whole. With questions like "Who are we?" and "Where are we going?".

I believe that any beacon would have to have immense power to send out a signal for extraterrestrials to receive given the distance between possible inhabited planetary bodies. Any beacon should only include something very basic, possibly some basic mathematical sequence to distinguish the signal as artificial and from something intelligent. The prospect of any spoken Earth language being comprehended is probably hard to expect from any extraterrestrial life forms.

I run the SETI@home for a number of reasons. First of all, when it first launched it was one of the first projects to take advantage of the immense computer time wasted by home and office personal computers. Second, for myself to contribute to some world-wide effort. Even though my contribution is only small overall, it is still a visible contribution. SETI@home is truly a world-wide project which has brought together millions of people through the internet on a single task - the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.

SETI@home allows individual people to contribute to a worthwhile endeavour in our exploration of space.
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