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Memo to Signatories, January 2006
from Principal Investigator H. Paul Shuch

Dear Signatories to the Invitation to ETI,

Happy New Orbit to you all. This letter constitutes my quarterly update to our eclectic group of 100, and will keep you apprised of current trends and progress with our Cosmic Invitation.

This has been a busy quarter; we've added five new Signatories to our project since my last update letter in October 2005. Please join me in welcoming composer and pianist Phil Aaberg, print and broadcast journalist Paul Tough, developmental systems theorist John Smart, minister the Rev. Susan Tough, and computer scientist Marcus Leech, to our ranks. You can read their biographical sketches online, at the Who section of the Invitation to ETI website. If you haven't done so lately, please take advantage of this opportunity to review your own biographical sketch there. You can email your updates to me, remembering please to keep your paragraph down to 250 words or less -- we don't want to bore ETI! A photograph, in GIF or JPG format, 150 pixels wide or greater, will also be appreciated.

Some of you have asked, "exactly what do I have to do as a Signatory?" Precious little, actually, unless you desire otherwise. I would hope that, if we ever receive a claim the evaluation of which can benefit from your particular expertise, we might be able to call upon you for advice. We try to have a sufficiently diverse skill set among the Signatories to be able credibly and critically to assess any claimed contacts, no matter what form they might take. Of course, we have no way of knowing a priori how your particular talents might fit into the picture, but we value greatly the diversity of our group.

I understand fully that people's interests and passions ebb and flow over time. This is as it should be, lest we stagnate. If your life is taking you in other directions, and should you wish at any time to terminate your involvement with the Invitation to ETI, please let me know straightaway, and I will (reluctantly) remove your name and biography from the website, without prejudice. Of course, I'm happy to have you participating, at whatever level you see fit, for as long as you do wish to remain involved. Nothing is required of you, other than your continued permission to list you among the ranks of the 100 Signatories.

I continue to tweak our website from time to time, to more accurately describe the Invitation and its implications. Latest changes include a "What If" section on the opening page, as well as minor edits to the Mission Statement page and the project's QuadChart. Latest additions include a growing collection of articles and papers, linked as "Articles for Further Study" from the About page of our website. You may wish to contribute some of your own creative thoughts to this section. If so, please send me your articles in the body of an email, or attached as straight ASCII text, Microsoft Word ® DOCs, or in Portable Document Format (PDF). Allen and I will review your submissions, and decide which we wish to post to the website. You will of course retain full copyright to your works so submitted. As usual, you can expect our decisions to be arbitrary, capricious -- and final.

Allen and I will continue to attend various international SETI conferences from time to time, as our schedules, health, and finances permit. You can look forward during the coming year to seeing one or both of us at the Contact conference in California, the International Astronautical Congress in Spain, the Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers meeting in Green Bank WV, the SETI League annual meeting in New Jersey, the EuroSETI meeting in Germany, and perhaps elsewhere. And, at any such meeting where even a small handful of Signatories is present, it will be our pleasure to host you for an informal IETI lunch or dinner, where we can share thoughts and notions, concrete and fanciful alike. In fact, if you are planning to attend the Contact conference in March, please let me know right away, as I am starting now to plan an IETI dinner meeting there.

On a personal note: some of you met my daughter, noted San Francisco choreographer Erika Chong Shuch, at last year's Invitation to ETI dinner at Contact. Her SETI-inspired show "Orbit: Notes from the Edge of Forever" will be running this summer, at the Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia Street. The production, according to Erika's website, "will examine the search for extra-terrestrial life through performance, first-hand experience, and scientific research. ORBIT: Notes from the Edge of Forever will use stories and research about aliens and other worlds as a lens through which to examine the human heart's constant search for contact." I plan to be in attendance on opening night. If you expect to find yourself in San Francisco in July, please drop me a note, and maybe we can make this performance one of our semi-official IETI Gatherings! In my next quarterly letter, I'll let you know the exact date.

Once again, I solicit your input, ideas, opinions, and feedback -- you are an important part of this Invitation, after all! Remember, the best way to reach me is by email to paul_at_ieti_dot_org; said alias forwards to my Blackberry, which accompanies me on my various travels.

Yours for ETI contact,

See also:

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