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President BidenJoe BidenAre we investing trillions on what matters? Biden eulogizes Reid as a fighter 'for the America we all love' at memorial service Fox News tops ratings for coverage on Jan. 6 anniversary events MORE recently signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022. The defense budget represents the amount of money that the nation allocates to defending itself against the threat from other nations. For 2022, it is $768 billion, a hundred times more than the budget of the largest scientific projects, such as the Large Hadron Collider or the James Webb Space Telescope. Since these projects took decades to accomplish and involved multiple nations, one concludes that the monetary priority of defense-related concerns is currently thousands of times higher than the largest science projects that humanity contemplates.

By contrast, the Galileo Project, which I lead, engages in a scientific search for objects near Earth that might have been artificially produced by an extraterrestrial technological civilization. Its first telescope system will be assembled on the roof of the Harvard College Observatory in the coming months and copies of it will be subsequently placed in many other locations.

Let’s imagine a situation where one of these telescopes will discover indisputable evidence for extraterrestrial equipment. This finding would obviously be of great scientific and international importance, not adhering to the borders between nations. As a result, we might realize that we are being childlike in focusing on conflicts among nations while something bigger more than likely exists out there.

Now, let’s go one step further and imagine that the political system will subsequently change its priorities by realizing that learning about more advanced neighbors on our cosmic block is of higher priority than national security. If a trillion dollars per year was allocated to learning more about our cosmic neighborhood, what could we do with it?

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