Archive for Carl Sagan

Our Place in the Universe

Posted in Television, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , on February 9, 2011 by telescoper

I suspect I’m not the only person working in astronomy who found inspiration in Carl Sagan‘s epic TV series Cosmos, which was broadcast on British television when I was at Secondary School. Although the graphics are a bit dated now, and the language perhaps a bit florid for modern tastes, it has lost nothing of its splendour or profundity which is largely due to the charisma (and beautiful writing) of the presenter. It’s also in stark contrast to the simple-minded stuff served up by modern so-called science programmes. Here’s a little taster, which brought back happy memories to me, and I hope will do the same for fellow astronomers-of-a-certain-age.

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. We make our World significant by the courage of our questions, and by the depth of our answers.