The concept of the UKSRN began in October 2008, when three SETI scientists met at a coffee bar in Glasgow, during an annual International Astronautics Conference. This gang of three were, Dr John Elliott (current Chair of UKSRN and long-term member of the IAA SETI Permanent Committee), Dr Stephen Baxter (Sci-Fi author, member of SETI Permanent Committee and Vice-President of the HG Wells Society) and Dr Alan Penny. At that meeting, the idea of a UK SETI network was hatched, to support the UK SETI community and its research: both individually and collaboratively.
Although getting the idea from concept to reality took a few years, it now provides us with an academic network and forum for exchanging ideas and developing new initiatives. Some of these are so large and multidisciplinary that no one person could ever undertake them alone.
So, by bringing together teams (both internally and invited external collaborators) from our wide-ranging disciplines, we are then able to bring together the necessary expertise to attempt these challenging goals. We are only just really beginning our journey, However, we already have members from many of the UKs top universities who cover expertise across all the main disciplines in our endeavour to search for extra-terrestrial life and intelligence.