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About the Invitation to ETI
Chief Scientist Allen Tough provides information for our Signatories.

Does my participation as a Signatory to the Invitation to ETI involve any financial commitments?

No, none in either direction. Your Signatory status does not involve any sort of financial obligation or commitment for you or for me. In other words, your participation does not obligate you to pay any money to me, nor does it obligate me to pay any money to you. I fund the project expenses and my conference travel out of designated Project funds. Each of us is free to speak and write about the project (on TV, in public lectures, or in a book, for instance) and to keep any fees, honoraria, or royalties that are paid to us. Personally, to demonstrate to ETI my deep genuine commitment to contact, I pledge that I will not gain financially from this project: I will not (over the years) keep any earnings beyond my out-of-pocket expenses. But you are free to do as you wish on this matter.

Does being a Signatory require much of my time?

None, or almost none. The web page instructs readers to contact the project's Leadership Team rather than the other people on the list, so presumably you will not have to deal with replies. If I ever receive a reply that might prove to be genuinely alien, though, or if I ever need guidance on any other matter, I may ask you for advice. I plan to send you a brief progress report by email every 6 months. And of course if we achieve genuine contact you may want to attend some sort of celebration or press conference. But in all of these situations, it is always your own free choice whether to spend time or not.

Does the whole group ever gather together?

I wish! So far I have not managed to bring the whole group together, although many of us do see one another at various conferences. Every time I read through the list of Signatories, I am inspired by their energy, talent, diversity, enthusiasm, courage, and commitment. This is surely one of the most impressive and remarkable groups ever to band together in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence! One of my dreams is to have all of us together in one place for three days of thoughtful working sessions and spirited conversations. Such a gathering could produce breakthrough thinking on achieving contact with ETI as well as deep bonds among all of us. If you have any ideas on how to fund such an awesome intellectual gathering, please let me know!

Am I chosen as a Signatory on my own individual merit--or to represent some organization?

Each person is chosen as an individual on his or her own merit. No one is asked to represent any organization, group, employer, or nation. Indeed, the web page that lists the Signatories specifically states that "we are acting simply as individual human beings, not as representatives or spokespersons from any organization, employer, or country." If you are willing, though, I am pleased to mention your employer and affiliations in your paragraph on the web page, since that information is of interest to readers.

How can I change my paragraph? What about leaving the group?

Changing your description is quick and easy. Just let our Webmaster know via email what you want added or changed (subject to the dictates of brevity; introductory paragraphs should be on the order of 250 or fewer words).

What happens if you or I ever want your name removed from the list? (a) If you ever decide to resign as a Signatory, our Webmaster will remove your paragraph immediately upon confirmation of your request. (b) If the Chief Scientist (me) or the Principal Investigator ever decides for any reason to remove someone from the list, they have the right to do so. We have rarely done this in actual practice (in cases when a Signatory has become inactive, for example, and does not respond to our email queries).

What happens if someone asks you for my email address, mailing address, or telephone number?

I treat this information as confidential. Normally I will release it to a third party only with your permission. If I receive a message or request addressed to you, normally I will forward it to you by email, leaving you free to decide whether to respond directly or not.

Will you send me updates about the progress of the project?

Yes. From time to time, the Leadership Team for the Invitation to ETI initiative sends update memos to the approximately 100 Signatories to this Invitation. The most recent memo, from April 2010, is archived here.

See also: Frequently Asked Questions

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The Invitation to ETI was founded by Prof. Allen Tough
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This page last updated 15 May 2011.
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