Carl Sagan Day - November 9th

  • metta

    Posts: 39167

    Nov 09, 2011 9:39 PM GMT
    Carl Sagan Day - November 9th

    To live in the hearts we leave behind is to never die - Carl Sagan

    http://www.universetoday.com/90823/carl-sagans-influence-favorite-quotes-from-readers/


  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2605

    Nov 09, 2011 10:06 PM GMT
    A great scientist and educator. But more so, an example of how to live our lives despite all its problems.
    His series 'Cosmos' is one of my favourite documentaries of all time; a science programme done with artistry.
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    Nov 09, 2011 10:21 PM GMT
    I wish I coulda known him in real life. He seemed like he'd be hilarious to hang out with.
  • kuroshiro

    Posts: 786

    Nov 09, 2011 10:30 PM GMT
    A true genius who will never be forgotten.

    If only he were alive today.
  • metta

    Posts: 39167

    Oct 01, 2012 3:29 AM GMT
    science+sunday+carl+sagan+demon+haunted+
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    Oct 01, 2012 2:15 PM GMT
    Prescient, no?
  • metta

    Posts: 39167

    Jan 03, 2014 8:45 PM GMT
    The Baloney Detection Kit: Carl Sagan’s Rules for Bullshit-Busting and Critical Thinking

    http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2014/01/03/baloney-detection-kit-carl-sagan/
  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2605

    Jan 03, 2014 9:06 PM GMT
    metta8 saidscience+sunday+carl+sagan+demon+haunted+


    I, too, have that fear: that the US, the leader of the free world, is slowly slipping backwards into a new dark age; when it will become a land of the Salem Witch Trials, and all the high hopes of the founding fathers will be lost almost without the people noticing them gone.
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    Jan 03, 2014 9:16 PM GMT
    "If you want to make an apple pie from scratch... you must first create the universe."
    (cue the Vangelis)
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    Jan 03, 2014 9:17 PM GMT
    He only gets one day? He should get billions and billions.
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    Jan 03, 2014 9:19 PM GMT
    Actually, he was thought of more as a great showman than a great thinker.
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    Jan 03, 2014 9:35 PM GMT
    He was nominated, but not elected to the National Academy of Sciences. I've heard, from people who were there, that there was a surprisingly heated debate over the matter.
    (Most of the nominees were people that few of the members had ever heard of, but everyone had an opinion on Sagan.)

    I personally never met the man, though I've worked on projects with one of his students and one of his wives.
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    Jan 03, 2014 11:29 PM GMT
    mindgarden saidHe was nominated, but not elected to the National Academy of Sciences. I've heard, from people who were there, that there was a surprisingly heated debate over the matter.
    (Most of the nominees were people that few of the members had ever heard of, but everyone had an opinion on Sagan.)

    I personally never met the man, though I've worked on projects with one of his students and one of his wives.


    I had a similar brush with one of my favorites, Bucky Fuller, whereby I never met the man but worked in a minor way with his nephew on his World Symposium on Peace. Such a thrill for me at the time as I adored the guy. (that and the nephew was hot.)

    You were lucky to get that close to Sagan. I thought he was wonderful. So accomplished. So fun to listen to. That must have been quite an experience to be one of his students. Just imagine how engaging his classes were.

    His wiki reads wonderfully. That list of honors is amazing, just about everything from a Pulitzer to an Emmy with NASA medal thrown in. That's quite the resume!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Sagan
    Isaac Asimov described Sagan as one of only two people he ever met whose intellect surpassed his own

    I was amusing myself with a thought, wondering if his early death didn't possibly coincide with the rise of fundamentalism, thinking about how he made science so fun and accessible as to make religion boring. Well look at what the fuck I found... I call it the Sagan Effect.

    Look at the lines from 1983 to 1997. Sagan sadly died too soon in Dec 1996...

    500px-Bsa-religion-question.svg.png
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    Jan 04, 2014 12:04 AM GMT
    For better or worse, "The Sagan Effect" is widely used to mean something along the lines of "the more press conferences you hold, the worse your actual science is." Or alternatively, "If you spend too much time on TV, your colleagues will start hating you." I think there is some validity to it. I know a few people who seem to end up on "The Discovery Channel" every week and get quoted in newspapers and magazines all the time. But... they actually seem to spend their entire lives traveling from conference to conference and never actually do a lot of science. At one time, I kind of got sucked into that for a year or so. It did provide access to funding sources, but overall was not very productive.

    The graph is interesting, but one might attribute trends to all kinds of things. For example, the rise of the internet giving the lunatic fringe free access to publication.

    I was actually asked to give the first Sagan Memorial Lecture, which was about a year after he passed away. It was very strange, since I seemed to be the only person in the room who had never met him. Apparently he was interested in some of my papers in his last weeks.
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    Jan 04, 2014 12:13 AM GMT
    Is this a real quote?
    marijuana-quote-carl-sagan-e130394363321
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    Jan 04, 2014 12:22 AM GMT
    Dunno. Sounds more like something that Kary Mullis would say. (I did have a few beers with him on a couple of occasions.)
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    Jan 04, 2014 1:14 AM GMT
    The graph was coincidental. I was being silly.

    According to wiki...

    ..."He spent most of his career as a professor of astronomy at Cornell University where he directed the Laboratory for Planetary Studies. He published more than 600 scientific papers[2] and articles and was author, co-author or editor of more than 20 books. He advocated scientific skeptical inquiry and the scientific method, pioneered exobiology and promoted the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI)"...

    ...so he must've done some science.

    Producing Emmy winning documentaries might have been a little time consuming. You'll have to forgive him that.

    I think anyone would be hard pressed to find in modern times a more successful teacher of science. He understood complex issues yet also had the communicative skills and the enjoyment--you could tell he loved this shit--to speak in the vernacular so laymen could understand & love science too.

    I still remember even my junior high earth science teacher with great fondness. And he wore a hearing aid which I recall freaked me out a little bit, not nearly as enthusiastic, or photogenic, as Carl.
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    Jan 04, 2014 3:16 PM GMT
    I loved Sagan's poetry to the universe. It inspired me to write a scientific cantata about the planets.
    If you're interested in this sort of thing, here it is.
    Words by me, music by my friend.
    http://www.musclebounder.com/SCI/Planets.html