Mountain View, CA – Few scientists have fired the popular imagination
like Dr. Frank Drake. To honor the pioneering spirit of the man often
proclaimed the “Father of SETI,” last year the SETI Institute
established an award in his name. The Institute now seeks nominations
for the 2002 Frank Drake Award for Innovation in SETI and Life In the
Universe Research. Formal notices inviting nominations have been
distributed to over 150 universities and research organizations both
nationally and abroad.

Scientists or outstanding students are eligible for the $5,000 (maximum)
award, which is intended to recognize outstanding research or innovative
student work in the fields of SETI and/or Life In The Universe. A panel
of distinguished scientists appointed by the SETI Institute Board of
Trustees will select the award-winner.

The award is named for Dr. Frank Drake, SETI Institute Board Chairman,
in recognition of his life-long contributions to the search for life
beyond Earth. From his work on Project Ozma – the first modern
scientific search for intelligent life beyond Earth – to his current
work in the new field of optical SETI, Drake’s research exemplifies the
pioneering spirit essential to bold scientific explorations. Setting
the benchmark for the future, the SETI Institute chose to honor Dr.
Drake as the first recipient of the Drake Award in 2001.

The Drake Award is supported by private contributions to the SETI
Institute in honor of the leadership and pioneering role of Dr. Frank
Drake. The award winner will receive the cash prize (in the year of the
Award), a plaque describing the nature of the qualifying work of the
recipient, and an allowance for travel expenses to attend the
presentation event.

Awards will be based both on past contributions and potential for future
contributions of new knowledge to the body of scientific work focused on
understanding the origin, nature, prevalence, and distribution of life
in the universe, or the understanding of life’s development and
evolution on Earth. The award may be given for experimental or
theoretical achievements, for a single dramatic innovation, or for a
series of research contributions.

All required nomination materials, including letters of support, must be
submitted by
August 31, 2002 to be eligible for the 2002 Drake Award.

Complete award information including forms and instructions for
nominating a Drake Award candidate may be obtained on-line at, or by contacting Karenlee Smith, nominations coordinator,
(650) 961-6633.