Carl Edward Sagan (November 9 1934 β December 20 1996) was an American astronomer and astrobiologist and a highly successful popularizer of astronomy, astrophysics, and other natural sciences. He pioneered exobiology and promoted the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI). He is world-famous for writing popular science books and for co-writing and presenting the award-winning 1980 television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, which has been seen by more than 600 million people in over 60 countries, making it the most widely watched PBS program in history. A book to accompany the program was also published. He also wrote the novel Contact, the basis for the 1997 Robert Zemeckis film of the same name starring Jodie Foster. During his lifetime, Sagan published more than 600 scientific papers and popular articles and was author, co-author, or editor of more than 20 books. In his works, he frequently advocated skeptical inquiry, humanism, and the scientific method.
Carl Sagan was...
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Billions and Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium, published by Random House in 1997 (ISBN 0-679-41160-7), is the last book written by renowned American astronomer and science popularizer Carl Sagan before his death in 1996.The book is a collection of essays Sagan wrote covering diverse topics like global warming, the population explosion, extraterrestrial life, morality, and the abortion debate. The last chapter is an account of his struggle with myelodysplasia, the disease which finally took his life in December 1996. Sagan's wife, Ann Druyan, wrote the epilogue of the book after his death. To help viewers of Cosmos distinguish between "millions" and "billions", Sagan stressed the "b". Sagan never did, however, say "billions and billions". The public's association of the phrase and Sagan came from a Tonight Show skit. Parodying Sagan's affect, Johnny Carson quipped "billions and billions"....
Carl Sagan died in Seattle, Washington, King County
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark is a book by Carl Sagan intended to explain the scientific method to laypersons, and to encourage people to learn critical or skeptical thinking. It explains methods to help distinguish between ideas that are considered valid science, and ideas that can be considered pseudoscience. Sagan states that when new ideas are offered for consideration, they should be tested by means of skeptical thinking, and should stand up to rigorous questioning.Sagan said if a new idea continues in existence after an examination of the propositions, it should then be acknowledged as a supposition. Skeptical thinking essentially is a means to construct, understand, reason, and recognize valid and invalid arguments. Wherever possible, there must be independent validation of the concepts whose truth should be proved. He believed that reason and logic would succeed once the truth is known. Conclusions emerging from a premise, and the acceptability of...
Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space (1994) is a non-fiction book by Carl Sagan. It is the sequel to Cosmos: A Personal Voyage and was inspired by the "Pale Blue Dot" photograph, for which Sagan provides a sobering description. In this book, Sagan mixes philosophy about the human place in the universe with a description of the current knowledge about the Solar System. He also details a human vision for the future. The first part of the book looks at the claims made throughout history that Earth and the human species are unique. Sagan makes two claims for the persistence of the idea of a geocentric, or Earth-centred universe: human pride in our existence, and the threat of torturing those who dissented from it, particularly during the time of the Roman Inquisition. However, he also admits that the scientific tools to prove the Earth orbited the Sun were (until the last few hundred years) not accurate enough to measure effects such as parallax, making it difficult for astronomers
Contact is a science fiction novel written by Carl Sagan and published in 1985. A film adaptation of the novel starring Jodie Foster was released in 1997. Eleanor "Ellie" Arroway is the director of "Project Argus," in which scores of radio telescopes in New Mexico are used to intensely search for extra-terrestrial intelligence (SETI). Before long, the project does, indeed, discover the first confirmed communication from extraterrestrial beings, a repeating series of the first 261 prime numbers (a sequence of prime numbers is a commonly predicted first message from alien intelligence, since mathematics is considered a "universal language," and it is conjectured that algorithms that produce successive prime numbers are sufficiently complicated so as to require intelligence to implement them). Further analysis of the message reveals that two additional messages are contained in different forms of modulation of the signal. The second message is a primer, a kind of instruction manual that...,
Ann Druyan & Carl Sagan married
Cosmos (1980), published by Random House, is a book by Carl Sagan based on his TV series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. It is similarly structured to the TV series and contains most of the information from the series (though the book often explores the information more deeply), and some information not found in it. The book is still in print as of 2007, and is the best-selling science book ever published in the English language. The sequel to Cosmos is Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space (1994). Cosmos was first and foremost intended to help the public better understand astronomy and astrophysics. Although the focus of the book is on astronomy and the world outside of the earth, it is also about human perception of the Cosmos throughout history. It is a history of how our matter originated in the stars, how consciousness sprang from that dead matter, and how unique our planet is. Sagan states on p. 12, βHuman beings, born ultimately of the stars and now for a while...
Linda Salzman Sagan & Carl Sagan married
Graduated from University of Chicago with a Ph.D. in Astronomy, Astrophysics
Lynn Margulis & Carl Sagan married
Graduated from University of Chicago with a Master of Science in Physics
Graduated from University of Chicago with a B.S. in Physics
Left Rahway High School
Carl Sagan was born in Brooklyn, New York, New York