Memo to Signatories, April 2006
from Principal Investigator H. Paul Shuch
This letter constitutes my third Quarterly Update to our group of 100, since I took over as Principal Investigator for the Invitation to ETI.
The Main Event of recent months was clearly the annual CONTACT conference, which was attended by more than a tenth of our Signatories. Although logistical complications prevented us from having our traditional, formal IETI dinner, I was pleased during the CONTACT weekend in March to meet informally with the following individuals: Joel Hagen, Jim Funaro, Carol Oliver, Don Scott, Kathryn Dennning, Gerald Nordley, Reed Riner, Al Harrison, and George Raynault. (If I've left anyone out, please forgive me; advancing age does cruel things to one's memory!) Several of our fellow Signatories gave excellent presentations during the three-day event. If you have never attended a CONTACT conference, I would highly recommend it to you. Mark your calendars for next March 16-18 (St. Patrick's Day weekend), and try to join us at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View CA for an outstanding gathering.
I mentioned in my last quarterly update that my daughter, noted San Francisco choreographer Erika Chong Shuch, is working on a new show titled "Orbit: Notes from the Edge of Forever." This SETI-inspired performance art piece, for which Erika interviewed quite a few IETI Signatories, will be opening on Thursday night, 13 July 2006, at the Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia Street, San Francisco CA USA. I plan to be in attendance on opening night. If you expect to find yourself in San Francisco on that date, please drop me a note, and maybe we can make this performance one of our semi-official IETI Gatherings. 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."
Latest tweaks to our website, ieti.org, include a revised set of links, as well as several additions to our growing collection of signatories' articles and papers, linked as "Articles for Further Study" from the About page of our website. You are invited to contribute your own creative works to this section. 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). Signatories will, of course, retain full copyright to any works submitted.
Allen and I, along with several other Signatories, are planning to attend the International Astronautical Congress in Valencia, Spain, in early October. If you expect to be there, please drop me an email so we can arrange to get together during that rather hectic week.
My personal news for this installment is that in mid-January, shortly after distributing my last Quarterly Update, I retired from my day job (I think "retired" sounds much more dignified than "unemployed" don't you?), which should give me more time to devote to this exciting project. I thank all of our Signatories (many of whom are neither "retired" nor "unemployed") for giving of your limited time to provide input, ideas, opinions, and feedback. Should you have questions, ideas, or material to contribute to the IETI website, 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.
Finally, I am pleased to report that our Founder and Chief Scientist has recently received some much-deserved recognition. At the 20th Annual International Self-Directed Learning Symposium, Cocoa Beach, FL in February, Prof. Allen Tough was honored with the 2006 Malcolm Knowles Self-Directed Learning Award for "significant lifelong contributions to the field of self-directed learning." And in May, he is to be inducted into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame, at a black tie banquet in Dallas TX. Please join me in congratulating Allen on his many accomplishments, which are detailed on his website, allentough.com.
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