This article on Carl Sagan has been up for several days, so many of you might have seen it already, but I just got around to reading it today. I was a Sagan fan, so I enjoyed it a great deal. It’s an excellent profile of what he believed and accomplished. It also gives a quick summary of the state of endeavors Sagan cared about, like the search for other intelligent life in the universe.
We live in Carl Sagan’s universe–awesomely vast, deeply humbling. It’s a universe that, as Sagan reminded us again and again, isn’t about us. We’re a granular element. Our presence may even be ephemeral—a flash of luminescence in a great dark ocean. Or perhaps we are here to stay, somehow finding a way to transcend our worst instincts and ancient hatreds, and eventually become a galactic species. We could even find others out there, the inhabitants of distant, highly advanced civilizations—the Old Ones, as Sagan might put it.
No doubt, this article is out now to help publicize the Cosmos remake about to come out on Fox. I do differ with this article on one point. I think there are many excellent science communicators out there today, with Neal deGrasse Tyson being an excellent example.
But I do agree that they are at risk of being drowned out be a lot of nonsense that is also out there, with shows on mermaids, ancient aliens, and other silliness. The Science Channel, for now, and PBS are still relatively good sources of science. But it’s hard to find it elsewhere.
The new Cosmos will be shown on Fox TV (not Fox News). A move that I hope will be the beginning of a new trend in trying to bring science into mainstream view. I’m pretty sure Sagan would have approved.