What If We Never Search?

In September 1959, Giuseppe Cocconi and Philip Morrison published “Searching for Interstellar Communications” in the science journal Nature. The article advocated searching for intelligent extraterrestrial life using radio telescopes. This article, along with Frank Drake’s search seven months later, essentially began modern-day SETI.

Here’s the last sentence of the Cocconi-Morrison article:

“The probability of success is difficult to estimate; but if we never search, the chance of success is zero.”

Words to live by, I think.

Photo: a paper weight on Jill Tarter’s desk.

4 Replies to “What If We Never Search?”

  1. I think we all forget those words too often.

    I couldn’t believe it when I saw that paperweight in her office; I couldn’t have asked a set decorator to find a more suitable prop.

  2. Seriously, it’s perfect. It should definitely be on your DVD cover at least, if not the theatrical poster.

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