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== Building the SETI Institute == As part of the original board, Pierson recruited Roger Heyns, President of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and former Chancellor of UC Berkeley; and Dr. Frank Drake, then Dean of the Division of Natural Sciences at UC Santa Cruz. Other directors Pierson recruited throughout the years have included Nobel Laureates Dr. [[Baruch Blumberg]], Former Director of the NASA Astrobiology Institute and Dr. [[Charles Townes]], Professor Emeritus of Physics at UC Berkeley. When expansion of the Institute, he pulled in scientists working on a wide range of projects including Kepler, SOFIA, and studies related to the atmospheres of Titan, Europa and Mars. Under his direction in over 28 years, the Institute administered over $275 million in funded research and on average had 60 active Ph.D. level principal investigator scientists and projects annually. Pierson has given talks and presented a paper at scientific meetings<ref>"SETI Institute as a model for managing interdisciplinary science" Acta Astronautica, Volume 58, Issue 9, p. 478-484.</ref> and participated in conferences about SETI.<ref>Ozma@50 Workshop http://www.gb.nrao.edu/OZMA@50/SETI_Attendees.shtml</ref> He also encouraged social science research related to SETI and participated in a series of NASA workshops on the Cultural Aspects of SETI.<ref>"Social Implications of the Detection of Extraterrestrial Civilization: Report on Workshops on the Cultural Aspects of SETI" by John Billingham, Roger Heyns, David Milne, Seth Shostak; SETI Press, July 1999</ref>
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