"Joined by an all-star cast of scientists that included Stephen Hawking, Martin Rees, Frank Drake, Geoff Marcy and Ann Druyan, Russian billionaire Yuri Milner announced that he was personally funding a series of new initiatives to kickstart the search for life in the universe called Breakthrough Initiatives."
"The first of two initiatives announced today, Breakthrough Listen, will be the most powerful, comprehensive and intensive scientific search ever undertaken for signs of intelligent life beyond Earth. The second, Breakthrough Message, will fund an international competition to generate messages representing humanity and planet Earth, which might one day be sent to other civilizations."
Marc's note: $100 million over 10 years is a significant investment in SETI and includes an all-star team. One member of the all-star team mentioned above is former NASA Ames Director Pete Worden as the Chairman of the Breakthrough Prize Foundation.
"Wondering if we are alone in the universe has engaged minds through the ages. Add to the list Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, who announced on Monday that he plans to spend $100 million to explore the idea.
Using some of the world's largest radio telescopes, a team of scientists handpicked by Milner will oversee an initiative he calls Breakthrough Listen, a 10-year search for radio signals that could indicate the existence of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe."
"Mr. Milner has recruited a small coterie of scientists to run the project. Among them are the Astronomer Royal, Lord Martin Rees, of Cambridge University, who will lead an advisory group; Peter Worden, former director of the NASA Ames Research Laboratory, home of the Kepler effort; Geoffrey Marcy of the University of California, Berkeley, a renowned exoplanet hunter; Dr. Werthimer; Andrew Siemion, also of Berkeley; and Ann Druyan, a co-author of both "Cosmos" television series and widow of the astronomer Carl Sagan."