My blogs about individuals are subjective and specific, different people inspire us all, so I just wanted to tip my hat towards a few of these iconic individuals. Most have their own websites or societies of appreciation so I have uplifted some of the text with references for these blogs.
“What are you doing for others?”
Once in a generation a special someone will influence and inspire millions, Carl Sagan in my opinion is one of those. His enthusiasm and ability to explain difficult concepts in an easy way encouraged many of us to find out more about this place called Earth and, it’s place in the Cosmos.
The epic series, ‘The Cosmos’, although decades old, still stands the test of time. Its scope and production is mesmerising as it’s brought together by the genius that is Carl Sagan. Any Cosmologist / Astrophysicist would acknowledge this great master piece, but whatever level of understanding one possesses, its true magic is simply compelling viewing. I refer back to this catalogue now and again, to remind myself what encouraged me to study and contemplate the universe we live in.
"We are a way for the Cosmos to know itself."
CARL SAGAN was the David Duncan Professor of Astronomy and Space Sciences and Director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies at Cornell University. He played a leading role in the American space program since its inception. He was a consultant and adviser to NASA since the 1950's, briefed the Apollo astronauts before their flights to the Moon, and was an experimenter on the Mariner, Viking, Voyager, and Galileo expeditions to the planets. He helped solve the mysteries of the high temperatures of Venus (answer: massive greenhouse effect), the seasonal changes on Mars (answer: windblown dust), and the reddish haze of Titan (answer: complex organic molecules).
For his work, Dr. Sagan received the NASA medals for Exceptional Scientific Achievement and (twice) for Distinguished Public Service, as well as the NASA Apollo Achievement Award. Asteroid 2709 Sagan is named after him. He was also awarded the John F. Kennedy Astronautics Award of the American Astronautical Society, the Explorers Club 75th Anniversary Award, the Konstantin Tsiolkovsky Medal of the Soviet Cosmonauts Federation, and the Masursky Award of the American Astronomical Society, ("for his extraordinary contributions to the development of planetary science…As a scientist trained in both astronomy and biology, Dr. Sagan has made seminal contributions to the study of planetary atmospheres, planetary surfaces, the history of the Earth, and exobiology. Many of the most productive planetary scientists working today are his present and former students and associates").
He was also a recipient of the Public Welfare Medal, the highest award of the National Academy of Sciences (for "distinguished contributions in the application of science to the public welfare…Carl Sagan has been enormously successful in communicating the wonder and importance of science. His ability to capture the imagination of millions and to explain difficult concepts in understandable terms is a magnificent achievement").
Dr. Sagan was elected Chairman of the Division of Planetary Sciences of the American
Astronomical Society, President of the Planetology Section of the American Geophysical
Union, and Chairman of the Astronomy Section of the American Association for the
Advancement of Science. For twelve years he was the editor-
A Pulitzer Prize winner for the book The Dragons of Eden: Speculations of the Evolution
of Human Intelligence, Dr. Sagan was the author of many bestsellers, including Cosmos,
which became the bestselling science book ever published in English. The accompanying
Emmy and Peabody award-
In their posthumous award to Dr. Sagan of their highest honor, the National Science Foundation declared that his "research transformed planetary science… his gifts to mankind were infinite."
Dr. Sagan's surviving family includes his wife and collaborator of twenty years, Ann Druyan; his children, Dorion, Jeremy, Nicholas, Sasha, and Sam; and grandchildren.
Carl Sagan's Vision of Mars
Visions of Mars is a message from our world to future human inhabitants of Mars,
which launched on its way to the Red Planet in 2007 aboard the spacecraft Phoenix.
Along with personal messages from leading space visionaries of our time, the message
will include a priceless collection of Mars literature and art, and a list of hundreds
of thousands of names of space enthusiasts from around the world. The entire collection
will be encoded on a mini-