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Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan
Carl Sagan Planetary Society.JPG
Carl Sagan in 1980
Born Carl Edward Sagan
(1934-11-09)November 9, 1934
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Died December 20, 1996(1996-12-20) (aged 62)
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Resting place Ithaca, New York
Nationality American
Fields
Institutions
Alma mater University of Chicago
Doctoral advisor Gerard Kuiper
Doctoral students Clark Chapman, James B. Pollack, Owen Toon
Known for
Notable awards NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal (1977)
Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction (1978)
Oersted Medal (1990)
Carl Sagan Award for Public Understanding of Science (1993)
National Academy of Sciences Public Welfare Medal (1994)
Spouse Lynn Margulis (m. 1957; div. 1965)
Linda Salzman (m. 1968; div. 1981)
Ann Druyan (m. 1981)
Children 5, including Dorion and Nick
Signature

Carl Edward Sagan (/ˈsɡən/; November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996) was an American astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author, science popularizer, and science communicator in astronomy and other natural sciences. He is best known for his work as a science popularizer and communicator. His best known scientific contribution is research on extraterrestrial life, including experimental demonstration of the production of amino acids from basic chemicals by radiation. Sagan assembled the first physical messages sent into space: the Pioneer plaque and the Voyager Golden Record, universal messages that could potentially be understood by any extraterrestrial intelligence that might find them. Sagan argued the now accepted hypothesis that the high surface temperatures of Venus can be attributed to and calculated using the greenhouse effect.

Sagan published more than 600 scientific papers and articles and was author, co-author or editor of more than 20 books. He wrote many popular science books, such as The Dragons of Eden, Broca's Brain and Pale Blue Dot, and narrated and co-wrote the award-winning 1980 television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. The most widely watched series in the history of American public television, Cosmos has been seen by at least 500 million people across 60 different countries. The book Cosmos was published to accompany the series. He also wrote the science fiction novel Contact, the basis for a 1997 film of the same name. His papers, containing 595,000 items, are archived at The Library of Congress.



My parents were not scientists. They knew almost nothing about science. But in introducing me simultaneously to skepticism and to wonder, they taught me the two uneasily cohabiting modes of thought that are central to the scientific method.
Plainly, the world held wonders of a kind I had never guessed. How could a tone become a picture and light become a noise?
I went to the librarian and asked for a book about stars ... And the answer was stunning. It was that the Sun was a star but really close. The stars were suns, but so far away they were just little points of light ... The scale of the universe suddenly opened up to me. It was a kind of religious experience. There was a magnificence to it, a grandeur, a scale which has never left me. Never ever left me.
I was transfixed by the dioramas—lifelike representations of animals and their habitats all over the world. Penguins on the dimly lit Antarctic ice; ...a family of gorillas, the male beating his chest, ...an American grizzly bear standing on his hind legs, ten or twelve feet tall, and staring me right in the eye.
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Wikipedia

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