I'm 48, originally from St. Louis, have been married for 17 years and have two children, a son who is 13 and daughter who is 10. I am an assistant professor in Pathology & Laboratory Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I teach medical genetics and conduct research on cystic fibrosis, attempting to understand what underlies the dramatic variability in disease severity that is seen in different CF patients. I also enjoy travel, caving and science fiction.
Thoughts about SETI and SETI@home
I strongly believe life exists elsewhere, perhaps in our own solar system. Intelligent life will of course be rarer, and I am not at all convinced we will find it elsewhere in the universe in my lifetime, for all the Sagan-esque reasons. Nothing bad could come of such a discovery, except perhaps for deflating some egos and causing theological indigestion here and there. The slow pace of conversation with civilizations elsewhere will certainly permit earthlings who need it adequate time to adjust. Benefits? Enlightenment foremost. Sharing of technology? Possibly, but worthy of debate. Sending out a beacon strikes me as borderline futile (see Carl Sagan once again) but what the hell. If we do, just share the basics of humanity. Please don't tell them how we treat our planet or manage disagreement. On the other hand, if any gaussians go silent in disgust after hearing us broadcast the downsides of Earth, we will have just found the civilizations we most need to speak with.
I run SETI@home to be a part of a pure scientific endeavor. Plus, I could use another publication.