by Elizabeth Tasker
Buried within the archives of a museum in Missouri, an essay on the search for alien life has come to light, 78 years after it was penned. Written on the brink of the second world
war, its unlikely author is the political leader Winston Churchill.
If the British prime minister was seeking solace in the prospect of life beyond our war-torn planet, would the discovery of a plethora of exoplanets aid or hinder such comfort?
The 11-page article – Are We Alone in the Universe? – has sat in the US National Churchill Museum archives in Fulton, Missouri from the 1980s until it was reviewed by astrophysicist Mario Livio in this week’s edition of the journal Nature.