Terms of Reference

SETI is an acronym for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. The primary goal is to examine all aspects of possible future contact with extraterrestrial civilizations, with special reference to international issues and activities. These aspects include technical efforts to find evidence for extraterrestrial intelligence as well as the social consequences of such a discovery. In addition, this group promotes the interest and eventual involvement of students in this work, primarily through education initiatives, the Internet, and the mass media.

Establishment

The International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) formally established a committee for SETI science as far back as the early 1970s. Over the decades, it has variously been known as the IAA SETI Committee, the IAA SETI Permanent Study Group (SPSG), and most recently as the IAA SETI Permanent Committee. The Committee currently operates under the IAA Commission on Space Physical Sciences.

Click here to obtain, in Portable Document Format, the Proposal which established this Committee during its 2000 incarnation as a Study Group.   

 

Duties

The IAA SETI Permanent Committee continues many of the duties performed by its predecessor organizations, the late IAA SETI Committee and the IAA SETI Permanent Study Group (SPSG). The primary task of the Committee is to organize and conduct two SETI sessions at the annual International Astronautical Congresses. Committee members also conduct workshops and Cosmic Studies for the International Academy of Astronautics, and publish papers on topics related to the scientific Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence.

Leadership

The SETI Permanent Committee is chaired by a Member of the International Academy of Astronautics. Its membership draws from members of the Basic Sciences section of the Academy, as well as other Sections, but is not restricted solely to Academy members. Prospective members are nominated by the Chair, and confirmed by the Committee as a whole, to serve a five-year, renewable term. Prospective members are chosen on the basis of their involvement in the SETI discipline, their contributions to SETI science or social science, and their willingness to serve actively as a member of the Committee. Current members of the Committee are listed on this Website. The current leadership of this Committee is as follows:

 

The terms of office and selection criteria for members of the SETI Permanent Committee leadership team may be found here.

Status Report

The Chair of the IAA SETI Permanent Committee provides a Status Report to the International Academy of Astronautics annually. Our most recently filed Status Report can be downloaded by following this link.