Profile: Shawn D. Connelly

Personal background
Currently live in Ottawa and head an MIS dept. for a local high-tech firm. I'm just turning 35, I'm a half geek/half wilderness man (meaning I don't bring a Palm pilot with me when I go camping... alright, alright... I bring my GPS (hey.. and a old fashion compass too!!). I'm still single but optimistically seeking a good woman whom at the very least knows the difference between astrology and astronomy and hopefully knows that not all bright objects in the sky are stars. My hobbies include just about everything....nothing bores me ('cept maybe people prone to bordom - I'll never understand why!). Career wise I was a electronics designer, photographer, a programmer, a teacher/course developer and now an IT guy.
Thoughts about SETI and SETI@home
It's simply implausible that life doesn't exist outside of our planet. Even if you only believe in carbon-based life as a synthesis of energy, ‘water’ and ammonia, these molecules are not unique to Earth. Water will likely be found in places as near as Mars. On the other hand, that is life as we understand it. Life (intelligent or otherwise) may very well exist in forms we cannot begin to conceptualize.

Thia ia the first global effort to search for ET! Which is really very cool!

Since the early 20th century we have been unintentionally transmitting omni directional signals from Earth. I believe that transmitting intentional signals should be a very low priority because of that in addition to the fact that such radio waves travel relatively slowly (light-speed). It is highly unlikely that life intelligent enough to understand our relatively primitive signals would receive our signals and respond in several human lifetimes. Intentional signals have already been sent via Arecibo and such signals including those of the Pioneer space vehicles are the ideal messages from Earth.

Why do I run SETI? I suppose for the same reason why some purchase lottery tickets. Though I believe lottery tickets are a tax for the mathematically challenged, someone does win. Similarly, the chance of discovering an artificial radio pattern from beyond our solar system is astronomical (excuse the pun). However, it’s not altogether impossible even if SETI/Arecibo only covers a microscopic section of bandwidth in the radio spectrum over a small section of ‘known’ space. Perhaps within our lifetimes, we’ll find definitive proof that we are not alone.

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SETI@home and Astropulse are funded by grants from the National Science Foundation, NASA, and donations from SETI@home volunteers. AstroPulse is funded in part by the NSF through grant AST-0307956.