A Message from Dr. John Billingham

Dear Colleagues,

I much regret not being able to be with you in Valencia. This is especially true because of the honor of having my name associated with the new Cutting-Edge Lecture established by Allen Tough as the opening talk in future SETI II Sessions at the Congress.

As Chair of the original IAA SETI Committee, I was fortunate to be able to introduce the idea of having the SETI I Sessions devoted to science and technology, and the SETI II Sessions to interdisciplinary aspects, especially studies of SETI and Society. I did not do this alone, but in association with many of you, and especially with Jill Tarter, Michael Michaud, Ernst Fasan, Allen Tough, and Tom Pierson. I also recall with pleasure establishing links with the IISL. Perhaps we should strengthen these in the future. As you know, I have continued to work with Michael on the important questions raised in the original two "Protocols", and in the attempts now being made to revise them.

I would like also to acknowledge the contributions made to our group by Allen Tough over the years, and personally to thank him for attaching my name to the new Lectures.

Best wishes also to old friend Steve Dick, who is giving the first lecture. Being familiar with his considerable achievements, I know his talk will be Cutting-Edge.

John Billingham