Hard sci-fi/philosophy/culture: The late scientific genius Carl Sagan (through the mouthpiece of protagonist Ellie) contemplates an event in which real-life SETI-project satellites encounter evidence of extra-terrestrial life. How would scientists react? How would governments act? How would the world as a global community act? What philosophical questions would it raise for our place in the cosmos?
"I’ll tell you one thing about the universe, though. The universe is a pretty big place. It’s bigger than anything anyone has ever dreamed of before. So if it’s just us… seems like an awful waste of space. Right?" — Contact.