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Professor invites e-mails from outer space

July 25, 2001

A Canadian professor is extending mankind's search for alien life by asking extraterrestrials to e-mail him.

Allen Tough, emeritus professor of adult education at the University of Toronto, has set up a webpage inviting aliens to make contact.

Professor Tough has pre-empted criticism that his project may be over-optimistic by citing a list of high-profile supporters.

Eighty scientists, including colleagues from the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) research group, have signed their names at the bottom of the invitation.

"It's a long shot," one backer, Australian astrophysicist Ray Norris, told New Scientist. "It's a search you can do with almost no cost, so you might as well do it."

The site - which supplies his e-mail address and fax number - includes a brief run down of why humans are worth contacting.


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