The Contact Paradox – Challenging our Assumptions in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence by Keith Cooper, Bloomsbury Publishing; 2020; Hardback; 336 pages, $28.00.

Space journalist Keith Cooper takes on a set of assumptions regarding the on-going and perplexing search for other starfolk.

This is a well-written, well-researched, and a must read that spotlights the saga of SETI, how it has evolved over the decades and what outcomes may be looming in the future. More importantly, the reader will find this book challenging suppositions…and grappling with the ramifications if SETI succeeds.

In eight chapters, Cooper takes on such heady topics as the altruism assumption, messages from Earth, technosignatures, 21st century SETI, and possible societal consequences of contact.  

The author writes: “SETI is not just a search for aliens. It’s also a search for ourselves. We project out hopes and fears, our history and our expectations about the future of humanity onto what we think extraterrestrial civilizations might be like.”

Cooper offers the reader a balance of thought-provoking views and opinions, not only his own, but tapping into the thoughts of leading figures in SETI and related fields.

Taking into account the escalating number of exoplanets being discovered – yet we remain faced with silence from the stars — you’ll find an absorbing, first-rate read in The Contact Paradox.

This book also includes a glossary and a healthy resource of further reading suggestions tied to each chapter.

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