The Detection of Extra-Terrestrial Life and the Consequences for Science and Society
Zarnecki, John C
Philosophical transactions. Series A, Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences 2011 Feb 13; 369(1936): 499-507
Astronomers are now able to detect planets orbiting stars other than the Sun where life may exist, and living generations could see the signatures of extra-terrestrial life being detected. Should it turn out that we are not alone in the Universe, it will fundamentally affect how humanity understands itself--and we need to be prepared for the consequences. A Discussion Meeting held at the Royal Society in London, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, on 25-26 January 2010, addressed not only the scientific but also the societal agenda, with presentations covering a large diversity of topics.
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