What are the technological advantages of a program like SETI?

Question 1

What are the technological advantages of a program like SETI?

Some of the notable advantages of SETI are:

  1. It helps in detecting astronomical phenomena and not only the artificial signals from extra-terrestrial sources.
  2. The universe is likely to benefit from the interstellar exchange for humans rather than for human interlocutors.
  3. SETI also signals human maturation as a species, as people guide their search strategies by both cosmocentric and intergenerational ethics.

Question 2

Using the sources provided, find a citizen science project and describe the goal of the project. What is required for those that sign up to participate?

One of the major projects of the SETI is the Galaxy Zoo: Hubble which is the latest version of the original zooniverse project. The primary goal of this project is to help astronomers figure out how galaxies form and evolve through classification of their shape. All interested parties who want to participate in this project have to run a program called SETI@ home which uses the computer when it is idle to process data and look for radio telescope signals around the world and analyze the signals for signs of intelligent life (Silvertown, 2009).

Question 3

Sometimes it is not possible to make long term commitments, but most of us can participate in annual events. What is the value of ecological surveys like the annual Christmas Bird Count conducted through the Audubon Society, which occurs only once a year?

Audubon’s Christmas bird count is the longest-running wildlife census that has fueled science and conservation action. Often, people including citizen scientists gather in 15-mile-wide circles to count every bird they see or hear. The primary goal of this activity is to provide valuable and important insights into population trends for various species that would otherwise go unnoticed and undocumented. However, to enhance this activity, new tools has been introduced into the market that includes Smartphone and map-based technologies that makes is easy and simple for those participating in this activity to identify and record each species of animal and particularly birds that they see.

Question 4

What are the risks of creating this sort of program? How can the data be confirmed accurate/reliable?

The data collected by Christmas bird count participants over the years has provided a wealth of information and data to scholars and researchers interested in the long-term study of the early winter bird population across the globe particularly North America. However, this activity faces risks such as double counting where a bird may be counted twice by different or the same person. Moreover, there is also the risk of classifying bird in the wrong class, thus messing with the total number of birds in a class or a category. However, the activity may also be unable to count all the birds in a single region and thus affecting the total sum of the birds. On the other side, for the organization to be in a position to confirm the accuracy and reliability of the data provided, they have to compare the data and information obtained in the field with the existing in their system (Bonney, 2009). A reliable data should not have much disparity with the one in their systems. In the case of great variance, there must be a problem or an error in counting or recording the birds.


Bonney, R. C. (2009). Citizen science: a developing tool for expanding science knowledge and                scientific literacy. . BioScience, 59(11), , 977-984.

Silvertown, J. (2009). A new dawn for citizen science. Trends in ecology & evolution, 24(9), ,                  467-471.