Brookings Report

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Proposed Studies on the Implications of Peaceful Space Activities for Human Affairs, often referred to as "the Brookings Report", was commissioned by NASA and created by the Brookings Institution in collaboration with NASA's Committee on Long Range Studies in 1960. It was submitted to the Committee on Science and Astronautics of the United States House of Representatives in the 87th United States Congress on April 18, 1961. It was entered into the Congressional Record and can be found in any library possessing the Congressional Record for that year. The report has become famous for one short section, titled, "Implications of a discovery of extraterrestrial life," which examines the potential implications of such a discovery for public attitudes and values. The section briefly considers possible public reactions to some possible scenarios for the discovery of extraterrestrial life, stressing a need for further research in this area. It recommends continuing studies to determine the likely social impact of such a discovery and its effects on public attitudes, including study of the question of how leadership should handle information about such a discovery and under what circumstances leaders might or might not find it advisable to withhold such information from the public. The significance of this section of the report is a matter of controversy. Persons who believe that extraterrestrial life has already been confirmed and that this information is...
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