Carl Sagan was a Professor of Astronomy and Space Science and Director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies at Cornell University, but most of us know him as a Pulitzer Prize winning author, the creator of the groundbreaking PBS series, COSMOS, and a tireless advocate for science and reason.
Sagan was that rarest of individuals. He was a scientist and researcher who was also adept at communicating scientific ideas to the general public. He was an example of how to blend healthy skepticism with a child-like sense of wonder. He was a teacher who routinely disproved the unfounded and often dangerous beliefs of his fellow humans without ever losing his belief in humankind.
Today, on what would have been his 76th birthday, thousands of people around the world are taking time out from their normal routine to pay tribute to Sagan, revisit his meaningful work, and revel in the cosmos he helped us discover and understand.
Throughout November, many groups have planned their own tributes with science fairs, conferences, planetarium shows, star parties, COSMOS marathons, and more.
Can't make it to a Sagan Day event, but still want to celebrate? Try one of these ideas:
Rediscover COSMOS – all 13 episodes – available for free at hulu.com.
Check out Sagan's many books at your local library or bookstore using the thorough listings from WorldCat.org.
Enjoy the special collection of articles by or about Sagan, previously published in Skeptical Inquirer magazine.
Listen to Sagan's last public address for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (formally CSICOP) as replayed on CFI's podcast, Point of Inquiry: "Wonder and Skepticism".
Listen to Ann Druyan, writer, producer, and widow of Sagan, discuss life with Carl, his outlook on life, and his famous Gifford Lectures, "The Varieties of Scientific Experience," also on Point of Inquiry.
Very special thanks to Ann Druyan and Druyan-Sagan Associates, Inc., for their gracious permission to use images and content from COSMOS, and for making it possible for so many CFI branches and campus groups to screen COSMOS for this special occasion. For more information, please visit the Carl Sagan Portal.