The Galactic Club is a term coined by Ronald Bracewell1 to describe a Galaxy-wide community of advanced technological races. Our prospects for membership of such a Club, should it exist, may depend on our ability to solve our present environmental, political and sociological problems, as well as our capacity to reach a certain level of proficiency in interstellar communication or transport. Bracewell proposed that we may be under surveillance by races interested in our progress. See also Bracewell probes and sentinel hypothesis.
1. Bracewell, Ronald N. The Galactic Club: Intelligent Life in Outer Space. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman & Co. (1975).
From the Preface: The human interest - or anxiety - associated with the possibility of life in outer space is intense. Do we have neighbors? Will we contact them? What will be their interest in us be? Friendly? Hostile? Will man expand into space and play a grand future role, bringing fertility to the galaxy? We do not know. This book explores these questions, bringing together to offerings from the different specialties that delve into the possibilities of life in outer space.
College astronomy texts now invariably devote a chapter to what astronomy has to say about life in outer space because the interested layman (and who is not interested?) expects to turn to those who have studied astronomy for reliable comment. Other sciences, especially physics, chemistry, biology, and anthropology, also contribute to the subject of extraterrestrial life; and, in return, the study of these sciences is enriched when it is illustrated by topics such as space travel, development of life, and the establishment of communication between independent civilizations. High school science can only be enlivened by injection of these stimulating and currently developing ideas.