Carl Sagan in 1980
|Born||Carl Edward Sagan
November 9, 1934
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Died||December 20, 1996
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
|Resting place||Ithaca, New York|
|Alma mater||University of Chicago|
|Doctoral advisor||Gerard Kuiper|
|Doctoral students||Clark Chapman, James B. Pollack, Owen Toon|
Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI)
|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|
When you make the finding yourself – even if you're the last person on Earth to see the light – you'll never forget it.
A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism.
All of the books in the world contain no more information than is broadcast as video in a single large American city in a single year. Not all bits have equal value.
But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.
If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.
Our species needs, and deserves, a citizenry with minds wide awake and a basic understanding of how the world works.
We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.
Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.
It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
I am often amazed at how much more capability and enthusiasm for science there is among elementary school youngsters than among college students.
Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.
The brain is like a muscle. When it is in use we feel very good. Understanding is joyous.
I can find in my undergraduate classes, bright students who do not know that the stars rise and set at night, or even that the Sun is a star.
If we long to believe that the stars rise and set for us, that we are the reason there is a Universe, does science do us a disservice in deflating our conceits?
We've arranged a civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology.
Personally, I would be delighted if there were a life after death, especially if it permitted me to continue to learn about this world and others, if it gave me a chance to discover how history turns out.
We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.
Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people.
For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.