Declaration of Principles Concerning the Conduct
of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
The parties to this declaration are individuals and institutions participating in the
scientific Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI).
The purpose of this document is to declare our commitment to conduct this search in a
scientifically valid and transparent manner and to establish uniform procedures for the
announcement of a confirmed SETI detection.
This commitment is made in recognition of the profound scientific, social, ethical, legal,
philosophical and other implications of a SETI detection. As this enterprise enjoys wide
public interest, but engenders uncertainty about how information collected during the
search will be handled, the signatories have voluntarily constructed this declaration. It,
together with a current list of signatory parties, will be placed on file with the
International Academy of Astronautics (IAA).

1. Searching: SETI experiments will be conducted transparently, and its practitioners will
be free to present reports on activities and results in public and professional fora. They
will also be responsive to news organizations and other public communications media
about their work.
2. Handling candidate evidence: In the event of a suspected detection of extraterrestrial
intelligence, the discoverer will make all efforts to verify the detection, using the
resources available to the discoverer and with the collaboration of other investigators,
whether or not signatories to this Declaration. Such efforts will include, but not be limited
to, observations at more than one facility and/or by more than one organization. There is
no obligation to disclose verification efforts while they are underway, and there should be
no premature disclosures pending verification. Inquiries from the media and news
organizations should be responded to promptly and honestly.
Information about candidate signals or other detections should be treated in the same way
that any scientist would treat provisional laboratory results. The Rio Scale, or its
equivalent, should be used as a guide to the import and significance of candidate
discoveries for the benefit of non-specialist audiences.
3. Confirmed detections: If the verification process confirms – by the consensus of the
other investigators involved and to a degree of certainty judged by the discoverers to be
credible – that a signal or other evidence is due to extraterrestrial intelligence, the
discoverer shall report this conclusion in a full and complete open manner to the public,
the scientific community, and the Secretary General of the United Nations. The
confirmation report will include the basic data, the process and results of the verification
efforts, any conclusions and intepretations, and any detected information content of the
signal itself. A formal report will also be made to the International Astronomical Union
4. All data necessary for the confirmation of the detection should be made available to the
international scientific community through publications, meetings, conferences, and other
appropriate means.
5. The discovery should be monitored. Any data bearing on the evidence of
extraterrestrial intelligence should be recorded and stored permanently to the greatest
extent feasible and practicable, in a form that will make it available to observers and to
the scientific community for further analysis and interpretation.
6. If the evidence of detection is in the form of electromagnetic signals, observers should
seek international agreement to protect the appropriate frequencies by exercising the
extraordinary procedures established within the World Administrative Radio Council of
the International Telecommunication Union.
7. Post Detection: A Post-Detection Task Group under the auspices of the IAA SETI
Permanent Study Group has been established to assist in matters that may arise in the
event of a confirmed signal, and to support the scientific and public analysis by offering
guidance, interpretation, and discussion of the wider implications of the detection.
8. Response to signals: In the case of the confirmed detection of a signal, signatories to
this declaration will not respond without first seeking guidance and consent of a broadly
representative international body, such as the United Nations.

Unanimously adopted by the SETI Permanent Study Group of the International
Academy of Astronautics, at its annual meeting in Prague, Czech Republic, on 30
September 2010.
These revised and streamlined Protocols are intended to replace the previous
document adopted by the International Academy of Astronautics in 1989.

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