Carl Sagan

79-Year-Old Carl Sagan Fan Loses to Crypto Company After Lawsuit

Since 1994, the URL has been owned by 79-year-old Dick Merryman. It has no purpose, with Merryman—a Carl Sagan fan—only deigning to have it display a scientific illustration of a wormhole in space, a brief description, and at the bottom of the page in big, red letters: THIS WEB SITE OFFERS NO SERVICES TO THE PUBLIC.
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What Carl Sagan Might Think About NASA’s Current State Of Space Exploration

The late Cornell University planetary scientist, astronomer and author Carl Sagan was not only a masterful science communicator but had the gift of pushing humanity to think in innovative ways. His experiment to remotely detect life on Earth from NASA’s passing Galileo spacecraft is the stuff of legend. And we are still debating the results of astrobiology experiments that Sagan championed on NASA’s Viking landers to Mars. But a quarter century after his death, it’s hard not to wonder what he’d think about the current state of space exploration.

Carl Sagan Narrates NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Mission Trailer Ahead of Christmas Day Launch

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is set for launch on a European Ariane rocket from French Guiana at approximately 7:20 Eastern time. It’s the largest space observatory to date, and its main task will be to collect infrared light from the distant corners of the cosmos, allowing scientists to probe the structures and origins of our universe like never before. Read more to see a Carl Sagan narrated mission trailer and for a livestream of the launch.

Carl Sagan Narrates the Trailer for NASA’s Next Telescope Launch

While rockets like SpaceX’s Starship get plenty of attention, other big leaps are also happening in space. On December 24, one huge project that’s been in the works since the late 1990s will finally bloom in orbit around Earth: the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). In the below trailer for the mission launch, Carl Sagan’s soothing voice gives us a reminder of all we have to explore in the universe.

John Ioannidis and the Carl Sagan effect in science communication about COVID-19

Last week, I noted the publication of an article by John Ioannidis, Alangoya Tezel, and Reshma Jagsi that caught my interest in BMJ Open, the BMJ’s open-access journal. Titled, Overall and COVID-19-specific citation impact of highly visible COVID-19 media experts: bibliometric analysis. To boil the paper down to its essence, Ioannidis examined the citation impact in the scientific literature of “highly visible COVID-19 media experts” in the US, Denmark, Greece, and Switzerland and concluded that most were not highly cited overall and few had published much on COVID-19 in particular. It’s a terrible analysis for the simple reason that its premise is flawed to the point where the results are, in essence meaningless, as I will explain. However, I did see this article as a good launching off point, a “teachable moment” if you will, to discuss science communication in the age of the deadliest global pandemic in over a century. Ioannidis was once one of my scientific heroes but since COVID-19 hit has disabused me of any previous hero worship, likely forever, although, truth be told, I had intermittently been unimpressed with his takes dating back years. In any event, this paper, published in late October but only seemingly finding an audience on social media last week (which is how I became aware of it) illustrates a problem that all of us who try to communicate science and medicine to the public face.
ZME Science

This 1985 video of Carl Sagan warning Congress about climate is just as sobering now

In 1985, when Carl Sagan went to Congress, global warming seemed like a distant problem. Granted, the likes of Exxon, Shell, and other fossil fuel companies were well aware that their actions were causing climate change, and they did their best to hide this fact from the public — but to most regular folks, climate change wasn’t a concern at the time.

Carl Sagan: Cosmos, Pale Blue Dot & famous quotes

Astronomer Carl Sagan, called "America's most effective salesman of science" by Time magazine, spent much of his career translating technical scientific explanations into something easily digestible by the general public. As a natural teacher, Sagan educated people not only through classroom lectures but also through interviews and television shows. His 13-part TV series, "Cosmos," has been seen by over 600 million people in more than 60 countries. The show was so popular that it returned to television in 2005. [See also our overview of Famous Astronomers and great scientists from many fields who have worked in astronomy.]

Carl Sagan Warns Congress about Climate Change (1985)

Without climate change, we couldn’t inhabit the Earth as we do today. The greenhouse effect, by which gases in a planet’s atmosphere increase the heat of that planet’s surface, “makes life on Earth possible.” So says Carl Sagan in the video above. He adds that without it, the temperature would be about 30 degrees centigrade cooler: “That’s well below the freezing point of water everywhere on the planet. The oceans would be solid.” A little of the climate change induced by the greenhouse effect, then, is a good thing, but “here we are pouring enormous quantities of CO2 and these other gases into the atmosphere every year, with hardly any concern about its long-term and global consequences.”
Literary Hub

Remember when Carl Sagan trashed Star Wars on late-night TV?

Today is the birthday of the late Pulitzer Prize-winning astronomer, professor, and science writer Carl Sagan, otherwise known as Carl Sagan Day. Born in Brooklyn in 1934, Sagan was an avid fan of science fiction at an early age; he got lost in the worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs, particularly his John Carter novels. In 1955, he earned his bachelor’s degree and in 1956, he earned his master’s degree. Both degrees were in physics and were awarded by the University of Chicago. After earning his Ph.D. in astronomy and astrophysics from UChicago in 1960, Sagan took up teaching at Harvard. In 1968, after Harvard declined to give Sagan tenure, he joined the faculty at Cornell University as the director for the Laboratory for Planetary Studies and the associate director of the Center for Radio Physics and Space Research.