I’m looking for a short story about entering the galactic civilization (you had to have discovered the power of the atom in order to qualify for the list).
There is a guy that reports back to his boss saying that he has found a new race worthy of being entered onto the list of galactic civilizations.
His boss writes down the name and location (humans, Sol being their star), and then asks about where he contacted them... in their spaceship, their orbital space stations...
The guy replies that the race is just at the beginning of their space exploration and they don’t have spaceships or space stations.
So the boss asks: where did they experiment with the power of the atom?
On the planet
And the boss says something like: poor ignorant... and scrapes the name off the list.
And so the humans were the first to be erased from the list...
I have searched and searched and no luck.
It’s a short story that I have read about 15 years ago in a magazine, and I can’t find any trace of it.