Remembering Carl Sagan

I, like many people, remember being captivated by the man in the turtleneck sweater, who told us we were children of the stars and made you believe that one day we might return. It was a time before the Internet and cable television, when science programming was a rarity. As a young boy, I sat and watched, mesmerized as much by the man as by the unfolding universe he introduced to us. We were beginning our first steps into the outer solar system with the Pioneer and Voyager programs, and it seemed that humanity’s future was just on the horizon. Sagan brought these new worlds to our living rooms, in a way that educated, but also inspired us as well.

Verbatim Gibberish Sean Sandulak Carl Sagan

It would not be until much later that I would realize the full scope of the man’s work. He was not only an astronomer and television host, but an educator, author, and advocate of science and reason. As a professor at Cornell, he was involved with the scientific exploration of the solar system from the early days of NASA, with the highlight of his academic career undoubtedly being his scientific contributions to the exploration of the four gas giants and their moons.

Verbatim Gibberish Sean Sandulak Carl Sagan

His efforts at outreach were at first strongly criticized by many in the scientific community, however. Like many pioneers, he challenged the status quo of his time. Similarly, his support and research into the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence were met with derision in some camps. Sagan was a fervent critic of pseudo-science, and ruffled many feathers by debunking extraordinary and unsupported claims of supernatural abilities, especially astrology. His warnings about global warming were largely ignored, despite demonstrating that this was the same greenhouse effect that had turned Venus into an inhospitable wasteland. His greatest and most lasting legacy, though, is the children he inspired to embrace science and the children-at-heart who learned to appreciate the world of which they were a part.

We should all hope to live a life as full of wonder at the vastness and beauty of the universe as he did.

Crazed recluse and sociophobe who has taken up writing after failing at everything else. Send pizza.

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Posted in Blog, Insidious Inspiration
12 comments on “Remembering Carl Sagan
  1. mixedupmeme says:

    Thank you for reminding me.


  2. M.L. Campbell says:

    Happy birthday, Carl Sagan. Great post! His words and teachings have influenced my understanding of life and the Universe so much.


  3. M.L. Campbell says:

    Reblogged this on A Writer's Journey and commented:
    On this day, his birthday, I must share this piece on the late Carl Sagan. His words and teachings have done so much to influence the way I look at life and the Universe. Thank you, Sean Sandulak, for writing this.


  4. Clanmother says:

    My most favorite quote by Carl Sagan: “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” I’m glad that we are celebrating his birthday!!!


  5. marymtf says:

    Thanks for your informative piece. Liked it very much.


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