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"People ask me how I do research for my science fiction. The answer is, I never do any research. I just enjoy reading the stuff, and some of it sticks in my mind and fits into the stories."
- Frederik Pohl

Noninterference With Other Worlds  
  Earliest expression of the 'Prime Directive' idea.  

Zorlin, a Martian, has come to visit Earth.

“I would have found a way to come,” he said easily, yet with a strange accent; somewhat as though his words were snowflake crystals, cold at first but melting as they fell. “We had not thought it worth while; but you have made so much advance lately that it seemed best to help you. We Kurols move by will-power. It is said many of our people have come to you secretly before. We know a great deal about your life. But until just now it was against the law for our people to visit earth; it lowered them, and always did you harm, and caused wars among you, much against our will and desire. Even now, I fear my coming will make disturbance.”
From In the Deep of Time, by George Parsons Lathrop.
Published by Not known in 1897
Additional resources -

Compare to Relations with Extraterrestrial Life from Ogre (1944) by Clifford Simak, the law of contact from Orphans of the Void (1952) by Orville Shaara, the Prime Directive from With Folded Hands (1947) by Jack Williamson, the treatment of extramundane aborigines from Symbiotica (1943) by Eric Frank Russell and alien self-government from Co-Operate or Else (1942) by A.E. van Vogt.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from In the Deep of Time
  More Ideas and Technology by George Parsons Lathrop
  Tech news articles related to In the Deep of Time
  Tech news articles related to works by George Parsons Lathrop

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