American Astrophysicist and Astronomer, President, Founder and "Father" of SETI, created the Drake equation and Arecibo Message
Only by doing the best we can with the very best that an era offers, do we find the way to do better in the future.
To use Newton's words, our efforts up till this moment have but turned over a pebble or shell here and there on the beach, with only a forlorn hope that under one of them was the gem we were seeking. Now we have the sieve, the minds, the hands, the time, and, particularly, the dedication to find those gems—no matter in which favorite hiding place the children of distant worlds have placed them.
The Drake equation states:
N = Ns x fp x ne x fl x fi x fc x fL N = number of alien civilizations in the Milky Way.
Ns = estimated number of stars in the Milky Way;
fp = fraction or percentage of these stars with planets on its orbits; ne = average number of these planets with potential to host life as we know it;
fl = percentage of these planets that actually develop life; fi = percentage of these planets that actually develop intelligence on human level;
fc = percentage of these civilizations that actually develop electromagnetic radiation emitting technologies;
fL = percentage of these civilizations that keep emitting electromagnetic signals to space. This factor is extremely dependent on the lifetime a civilization remains electromagnetic communicative.
"I know perfectly well that at this moment the whole universe is listening to us," Jean Giraudoux wrote in The Madwoman of Chaillot, "and that every word we say echoes to the remotest star."That poetic paranoia is a perfect description of what the Sun, as a gravitational lens, could do for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.
It is arrogance to think that the earthbound have any true grasp of the complex meaning, or meanings, of life; we have not yet gathered all the data. Our own significance, our ultimate potential and our ensemble of possible destinies will be understood only by finding and studying the other intelligent creatures of space. Thus, a prime task for us is to seek these other intelligent civilizations and join them in shared knowledge. We now have the means to do so, and if we are as noble as we think, we will proceed vigorously with this enterprise.