Carl Sagan Day

10 11 2009

Carl Sagan was born on November 7, 2009. If he were still alive today, today would be his seventy-fifth birthday.

Carl Sagan was a science advocate and is widely known through his thirteen-episode PBS series, Carl Sagan’s Cosmos. In this show, he illustrated and explained complex scientific concepts in ways that the layman could understand.

This is the core of scientific advocacy. People will not care to learn about something that they think requires heavy, exhaustive scientific training. However, if scientific material can explained accurately in everyday terms to enough people, the benefit to society is immeasurable. Any open, free society requires an educated public. Whether that knowledge comes from the regular education system, higher education, or scientific advocacy groups, it is knowledge being passed on to large groups of people.

Carl Sagan left a legacy. If there is life after death, then Carl Sagan has certainly achieved it. He died in December 1996, but people continue to watch his Cosmos series, interviews, and other appearances and they read his books. He continues to make an impact upon the world.

I did not discover Sagan’s work until well after he was gone, but when I did, I just soaked it up. It made a huge impression on me. It further emphasized the idea that a broad, in-depth understanding of the natural world does not need to be reserved for those in higher education. It is something that should be accessible to everyone and anyone with the knowledge has the power to share it with anyone.

Carl Sagan left a great legacy. If you have not watched Cosmos, several episodes are on YouTube.

Links:
Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, episode 1
Carl Sagan on the Drake Equation
Symphony of Science

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