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A Statement


Nearly two years after the 45th International Astronautical Congress, and nearly one year after being requested by Professor Jean Heidmann of the Paris Observatory for permission to republish my Jerusalem paper in SETI 5, a special Acta Astronautica issue on SETI, the author has been informed that the two reviewers were very negative about the paper, and it will not now be included in SETI 5.

It goes without saying that the author is very disappointed about this and believes the negative reviews from the referees has resulted from a substantial degree of bias against Optical SETI and the fear that increasing discussion of the optical approach to SETI will rain on the Microwave SETI parade and dilute private funding for the latter.  The last thing these people want to do is to give the author any respectability by having a paper published in a prestigious peer-reviewed journal.  In their minds, no way will optical equipment costing only a few tens of thousands of dollars succeed in doing what tens of millions of dollars in radio frequency equipment has failed to do so far!  It has also been suggested that too much discussion about OSETI will distract from the need to keep the radio frequency spectrum free from interference.

Copies of the referees comments have been sent to the author, one of which really insults the author by "suggesting" that he speak to an optical astronomer to be educated about how to do photon-counting!

Professor Heidmann is the author of the recent English publication of his French SETI book: "Extraterrestrial Intelligence", which says nothing - absolutely nothing, about any Optical SETI work done on this planet since 1961!   Jean Heidmann also said nothing about OSETI in last year's November SETI issue of Journal of the British Interplanetary Society (JBIS).

With the World Wide Web, with its reach to an audience vastly greater than for Acta Astronautica, perhaps the benefit of having a paper in that peer-reviewed journal is not that great!  Qualified readers are welcome to do their own peer-review of this paper by downloading the HTML and PDF documents (when it becomes available).

Stuart Kingsley

September 3, 1996


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