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North American AstroPhysical Observatory (NAAPO)

Issue 6 Cover

Cosmic Search: Issue 6
(Volume 2 Number 2; Spring (Apr., May, June) 1980)
[Article in magazine found on page 17]

In Review:
IS ANYBODY OUT THERE? THE SEARCH FOR EXTRATERRESTRIAL LIFE,

A Harper & Row Media Program by Harper & Row Publishers, Inc., 1976.

Is Anybody Out There? is the title of this well-produced, well illustrated and thought-provoking series of six sound film strips created for Harper & Row by Isaac Asimov.

The film strips cover the entire spectrum of subjects dealing with SETI: the Endless Quest; Life; Rare or Commonplace; Finding Habitable Planets; Have We been Visited?; the Odds on Intelligence; and Will Anybody Answer?.

The series forms an interesting basis for a multi-disciplinary approach to the SETI question. Man's yearning to learn if other planets are inhabited by intelligent beings has existed for thousands of years, yet it is not til now, late in the twentieth century, that he has gained the tools to tackle this profound problem.

Is Anybody Out There? provides students and interested laypersons with an accurate foundation to deal with SETI on a scientific as well as sociological basis. The concept of life as we experience it on earth and as we hypothesize it in space, forms the beginning of an exciting account of seeking planets that can support life forms. Whether life is or is not intelligent becomes perhaps the single most important question in radio astronomers' numerous attempts to receive signals from extra-solar planets.

This series of film strips is stimulating. It creates an atmosphere, sometimes overly dramatic, to ask some very profound questions.

Mirjana Gearhart

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