Tuesday, January 31, 2012

On Carl Sagan, curiosity, and the lowly book

"What an astonishing thing a book is. It's a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you're inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic."
Please resist the urge to repeat "billions and billions" in that unforgettable tone of his. What Dr. Sagan brought to the world, aside from a remarkable scientific mind that expanded our view of the universe, was a challenge to everyday folks to look at their own universe with just a little more curiosity.

I miss his voice and I miss his insight. I wonder who else is out there to carry the torch of science for those who never saw themselves as scientists.

Your turn: So, who else is there? I'll start: Neil deGrasse Tyson.


Light and Voices said...

Carl Sagan's voice does seem to be gone now.
Joyce M

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Possibly o.t.: There's plenty of scientists exploring the science of global warming and its causes, Carmi.

But they don't get the star treatment...instead they get attacked because the oil lobby has so much money.

pettypi said...

Tyson is cool. But so is Brian Greene.

Alexia said...

Brian Cox, physicist and communicator extraordinary.
Carl Sagan introduced me to the cosmos (and yes, Carmi, I can exactly replicate in my mind how he used to say it) and made me curious about all things out there.