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Carl Sagan: A Biography Paperback – October 21, 2008
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—Ann Druyan, wife of the late Carl Sagan and collaborator on many projects
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Top Customer Reviews
As the book notes, he was a fine scientist, despite being denied tenure by Harvard in the late 1960s. The authors show how through much of his career, he was often looked down on by fellow scientists for being such a public spokesperson for real science, appearing on popular television shows and in mass market magazines.
Actually there are those now who say astronomers could use a good communicator like Sagan to build up support for research and exploration. Sagan's book and public television series, Cosmos, energized us with the possibilities of life on Mars, the mysteries of Venus and strange environments of gas giants like Jupiter and Saturn, and many places beyond.
The authors show some of the failings and setbacks in Sagan's rather short life, including divorces, science mistakes, and poor interpersonal relations. A lot of that was new to me, but when included in the book just add to the overall portrait of this popular pioneer.
In fact, making mistakes put Sagan in some special company. I'll never forget the Cosmos section on Percival Lowell and his long, but false, fascination of canals and civilizations
on the Red Planet.
Sagan goes to Lowell Observatory, shows us Lowell's large refractor telescope and then opens the wooden dome to a night sky full of stars, and planets. That by itself, made me a amateur astronomer for life. And I'll bet many more folks around the world.
We certainly miss Carl and his enthusiasm in this time of polarization and lack of enthusiasm for the joys of real science. This biography of Sagan shows us what we lost with his passing in 1996 and how we can move forward and learn so much more about that sky full of wonders that we see each evening. And learn with lots of joy and excitement!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Being a retired Physicist, I sure miss Carl! At the end of the
movie "Contact", on an all dark screen the words " For Carl"
appear. Read more