Michael Michaud served as Director of the U.S. State Department's Office of Advanced Technology and as Counselor for Science, Technology, and Environment at the American embassies in Paris and Tokyo. He led the negotiation of international agreements, played an active role in reviving U.S.-Soviet space cooperation, represented foreign policy interests in interagency discussions of U.S. space policy, and testified before Congress on space-related issues. He has published thirty articles and papers on the implications of contact, as well as sixty articles on other subjects and the book, Reaching for the High Frontier: The American Pro-Space Movement, 1972-1984.
The rapid growth in our awareness of other worlds makes this a crucial moment to think about and assess the influence of cultural values on the scientific search for extraterrestrial life. Here the author considers the junction of science and culture with a focus on two main themes: (1) the underlying assumptions, many of which are tacitly based upon cultural values common in American society, that have shaped the ways researchers in astrobiology and SETI have conceptualized the nature of their endeavor and represented ideas about the potential influence contact might have on human civilization, and (2) the empirical evidence we can access as a way of thinking about the social impact that contact with alien intelligence might have for humanity.
Besides providing thrills, a science section covers the very latest in undersea robotics, discussing the assets future explorers may have available for exploring subsurface oceans on moons including Europa, Enceladus and Titan. The book explores the most recent results in Europa research, from safe radiation levels for human habitation, landing sites, subsurface ocean currents and makeup, possible plate tectonics, geyser activity on the surface, volcanic activity on the ocean floor, and Europa’s bizarre exosphere. The book also covers extremophiles and the various possible biomes on—and inside of—Europa.
Come along on this scientific adventure and learn the astonishing implications of discoveries made in this field for the future of the human race. Bennett, who believes that "science is a way of helping people come to agreement," explains how the search for extraterrestrial life can help bridge the divide that sometimes exists between science and religion, defuse public rancor over the teaching of evolution, and quiet the debate over global warming. He likens humanity today to a troubled adolescent teetering on the edge between self-destruction and a future of virtually limitless possibilities. Beyond UFOs shows why the very quest to find alien life can help us to grow up as a species and chart a course for the stars. In a new afterword, Bennett shares the most recent developments in extrasolar research, and discusses how they might further our quest to find alien life.
The Mothman Prophecy is the basis of the 2002 film starring Richard Gere.
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