As a recently inducted member of the radio astronomy community I am still learning all the great things this funding can do for SETI. As my new job involves working with the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia that will be funded for much of this work I may be biased, but I honestly think this is a fantastic shot-in-the-arm for the SETI program, and understanding our place in the Universe. It's also a great testament to the science communicators out there who have kept these dreams alive in the public.
This is still a breaking story with much more news to report as time goes on. But in the meantime take a look at some current thinking on the subject:
- Scientific American: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/stephen-hawking-and-yuri-milner-announce-100m-initiative-to-seek-extraterrestrial-intelligence/
- Wired - UK: http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2015-07/20/breakthrough-listen-project
- Space.com: http://www.space.com/29990-stephen-hawking-intelligent-alien-life-initiative.html