Journals Higher Education
Important OUP's Response to COVID-19 Learn more



Published: 19 January 2006

248 Pages | 31 halftones, line illus. & maps

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

ISBN: 9780195171815

Also Available As:


Also Available In:

Bookseller Code (06)

Civilized Life in the Universe

Scientists on Intelligent Extraterrestrials

George Basalla

From Plutarch and Kepler to Stephen Hawkings and Carl Sagan, this book offers a fascinating history of scientific speculation about life in outer space. Basalla traces an unbroken but twisting chain of ideas passed from one scientist to the next, and from science to popular culture. He even examines the influence of popular culture on science--Sagan always admitted how much Burroughs' Martian novels influenced his speculations about Mars. Throughout, Basalla shows that scientific belief in and search for extraterrestrial civilizations is a complex impulse, part secularized-religious, and part anthropomorphic.

Also of Interest