I recently finished Carl Sagan’s book, Cosmos, and even though it was published in 1980 these ideas are still relevant today.
Sagan discusses possibilities of the universe such as what life might look like on other planets and what the future might look like on Earth if somethings don’t change.
His ideas have reached many people all across the world in his books, television shows and through his work at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.
He died in 1996 and is buried in Ithaca, NY. I walked past his gravestone a month ago and noticed the view was up on a hill overlooking the Cayuga Lake with an unimpeded sight at the night sky.
It moved me to write this song in tribute, “Carl’s View”
More about Carl Sagan
Carl Sagan was an American astronomer, cosmologist, and science communicator who made significant contributions to the field of astronomy and popularized science to the general public through his books, television series, and lectures. He was born on November 9, 1934, in Brooklyn, New York, and passed away on December 20, 1996, in Seattle, Washington. Sagan was a prolific writer, publishing over 600 scientific papers and numerous books on science, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning book “The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence.”
Sagan’s interest in science started at an early age when he discovered the public library near his home. He was fascinated by the books on science and astronomy and devoured them eagerly. Sagan was particularly interested in astronomy, and by the age of ten, he was already reading scientific papers on the subject. He attended the University of Chicago and earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. degrees in physics.
Sagan’s contributions to the field of astronomy are significant. He conducted groundbreaking research on the planets of the solar system and contributed to the search for extraterrestrial life. Sagan was a member of the scientific teams that worked on several NASA missions, including the Mariner, Viking, and Voyager missions. He was also involved in the creation of the Pioneer Plaque, a message from humanity to any extraterrestrial life that might encounter the Pioneer spacecraft.
Sagan’s work on the Voyager missions is particularly noteworthy. He was part of the team that designed the Voyager Golden Record, a phonograph record containing sounds and images representing Earth that was sent on the Voyager spacecraft. The record is intended as a message to any extraterrestrial life that may encounter the spacecraft in the future.
Sagan’s work in astronomy also involved the study of planetary atmospheres and the greenhouse effect. He was one of the first scientists to warn of the dangers of global warming caused by human activities. In his book “The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark,” Sagan wrote about the importance of critical thinking and skepticism in the face of pseudoscience and superstition.
Sagan’s contributions to popularizing science are also significant. He believed that science should be accessible to everyone and that the public had a right to know about scientific discoveries and developments. Sagan was a prolific writer and published numerous books on science for the general public, including “Cosmos,” “The Dragons of Eden,” and “Pale Blue Dot.” His television series “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage” was watched by millions of people and is credited with popularizing science to a new generation.
Sagan’s ability to communicate complex scientific concepts in a way that was understandable to the general public was one of his greatest strengths. He had a talent for using metaphors and analogies to explain complex scientific concepts in a way that was relatable and understandable. His passion for science was infectious, and he inspired many young people to pursue careers in science and engineering.
Sagan was also an advocate for space exploration and believed that it was essential for the future of humanity. He believed that space exploration would help us better understand our place in the universe and would lead to technological advancements that would benefit humanity. Sagan was a founding member of the Planetary Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting space exploration and the search for extraterrestrial life.
Sagan’s contributions to science and his ability to communicate scientific concepts to the general public have made him a beloved figure in the scientific community and beyond. He was a passionate advocate for scientific literacy and critical thinking and believed that science was a vital tool for understanding our world and our place in the universe. Sagan’s legacy continues to inspire new generations of scientists and science communicators.