Theoretical scientist Stephen Hawking has exceeded his life expectancy by some 50 years, but at the age of 73 he has precious few years to attend to unfinished business. But now according to the Washington Post, Hawking has unveiled 'Breakthrough Listen', a $100 million project bankrolled by Russian Billionaire Yuri Milner to search the heavens for signs of extraterrestrial life.
The fund will significantly boost availability of telescopes and allow scientists to collect significantly more data than currently able. Relying on statistical probability, Hawking says "We believe that life arose spontaneously on Earth. So in an infinite universe, there must be other occurrences of life" but Milner is somewhat more circumspect. "I think it's a low probability but high impact event... Irrespective of what the answer is, it's a powerful answer. At any given time, we should apply the best technology and use the best instruments available to search for that answer."