Winston Churchill essay on 'aliens' found: 'British Bulldog' had a philosophical streak

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tags: Winston Churchill, WWII

Winston Churchill is remembered today as one of the most significant political figures of the 20th century. As prime minister of Britain during World War II, he led his nation to victory in the largest war and most technologically advanced conflict that the world had ever seen.

In an era marked by mechanized conflict, it seems natural that Mr. Churchill would have at least some interest in science, if only to keep up with the Axis war machine. He was, after all, the first prime minister to have a science adviser in his employ. But Churchill's interest in science went far deeper. A recently rediscovered essay written by Churchill in 1939 entitled "Are We Alone in the Universe?", written on the eve of WWII, reveals a discerning and surprisingly insightful interest in big scientific questions that still fascinate and provoke thoughtful questions to this day.

The 11-page essay, written just before Churchill took office, was evidently intended for a newspaper, perhaps London's News of the World. Originally titled "Are We Alone in Space?", it was lightly revised in the 1950s to reflect the latest scientific terminology. But despite attention from the statesman over a span of nearly 20 years, the article went unpublished and was eventually forgotten in the archives of the US National Churchill Museum.

Read entire article at The Christian Science Monitor

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