Carl Edward Sagan (/ˈseɪɡən/; November 9, 1934 – December 20,
1996) was an American astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist,
astrobiologist, author, science popularizer, and science communicator
in astronomy and other natural sciences. He is best known for his work
as a science popularizer and communicator. His best known scientific
contribution is research on extraterrestrial life, including
experimental demonstration of the production of amino acids from basic
chemicals by radiation. Sagan assembled the first physical messages
sent into space: the
Pioneer plaque and the Voyager Golden Record,
universal messages that could potentially be understood by any
extraterrestrial intelligence that might find them. Sagan argued the
now accepted hypothesis that the high surface temperatures of Venus
can be attributed to and calculated using the greenhouse effect.
Sagan published more than 600 scientific papers and articles and was
author, co-author or editor of more than 20 books. He wrote many
popular science books, such as The Dragons of Eden,
Broca's Brain and
Pale Blue Dot, and narrated and co-wrote the award-winning 1980
television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. The most widely watched
series in the history of American public television,
Cosmos has been
seen by at least 500 million people across 60 different countries.
Cosmos was published to accompany the series. He also wrote
the science fiction novel Contact, the basis for a 1997 film of the
same name. His papers, containing 595,000 items, are archived at
The Library of Congress.
Sagan advocated scientific skeptical inquiry and the scientific
method, pioneered exobiology and promoted the Search for
Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI). He spent most of his career as
a professor of astronomy at
Cornell University, where he directed the
Laboratory for Planetary Studies. Sagan and his works received
numerous awards and honors, including the
NASA Distinguished Public
Service Medal, the
National Academy of Sciences
National Academy of Sciences Public Welfare Medal,
Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction
Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction for his book The Dragons of
Eden, and, regarding Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, two
Emmy Awards, the
Peabody Award and the Hugo Award. He married three times and had five
children. After suffering from myelodysplasia, Sagan died of pneumonia
at the age of 62, on December 20, 1996.
1 Early life
1.1 1939 World's Fair
1.2 World War II
1.3 Inquisitiveness about nature
1.4 High school years
3 Scientific career
4 Scientific achievements
5 Cosmos: popularizing science on TV
5.1 "Billions and billions"
6 Scientific and critical thinking advocacy
6.1 Popularizing science
7 Social concerns
8 Personal life and beliefs
9 Sagan and UFOs
9.1 Sagan's Paradox
11 Posthumous recognition
12 Awards and honors
14 See also
17 Further reading
18 External links
Carl Sagan was born in Brooklyn, New York. His father, Samuel
Sagan, was an immigrant garment worker from Kamianets-Podilskyi, then
in the Russian Empire, in today's Ukraine. His mother, Rachel Molly
Gruber, was a housewife from New York. Carl was named in honor of
Rachel's biological mother, Chaiya Clara, in Sagan's words, "the
mother she never knew."
He had a sister, Carol, and the family lived in a modest apartment
near the Atlantic Ocean, in Bensonhurst, a
According to Sagan, they were Reform Jews, the most liberal of North
American Judaism's four main groups. Carl and his sister agreed that
their father was not especially religious, but that their mother
"definitely believed in God, and was active in the temple;... and
served only kosher meat.":12 During the depths of the Depression,
his father worked as a theater usher.
According to biographer Keay Davidson, Sagan's "inner war" was a
result of his close relationship with both of his parents, who were in
many ways "opposites." Sagan traced his later analytical urges to his
mother, a woman who had been extremely poor as a child in New York
World War I
World War I and the 1920s.:2 As a young woman she had
held her own intellectual ambitions, but they were frustrated by
social restrictions: her poverty, her status as a woman and a wife,
and her Jewish ethnicity. Davidson notes that she therefore
"worshipped her only son, Carl. He would fulfill her unfulfilled
However, he claimed that his sense of wonder came from his father, who
in his free time gave apples to the poor or helped soothe
labor-management tensions within New York's garment industry.:2
Although he was awed by Carl's intellectual abilities, he took his
son's inquisitiveness in stride and saw it as part of his growing
up.:2 In his later years as a writer and scientist, Sagan would
often draw on his childhood memories to illustrate scientific points,
as he did in his book, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors.:9 Sagan
describes his parents' influence on his later thinking:
My parents were not scientists. They knew almost nothing about
science. But in introducing me simultaneously to skepticism and to
wonder, they taught me the two uneasily cohabiting modes of thought
that are central to the scientific method.
1939 World's Fair
Sagan recalls that one of his most defining moments was when his
parents took him to the
1939 New York World's Fair
1939 New York World's Fair when he was four
years old. The exhibits became a turning point in his life. He later
recalled the moving map of the America of Tomorrow exhibit: "It showed
beautiful highways and cloverleaves and little General Motors cars all
carrying people to skyscrapers, buildings with lovely spires, flying
buttresses—and it looked great!":14 At other exhibits, he
remembered how a flashlight that shone on a photoelectric cell created
a crackling sound, and how the sound from a tuning fork became a wave
on an oscilloscope. He also witnessed the future media technology that
would replace radio: television. Sagan wrote:
Plainly, the world held wonders of a kind I had never guessed. How
could a tone become a picture and light become a noise?:14
He also saw one of the Fair's most publicized events, the burial of a
time capsule at Flushing Meadows, which contained mementos of the
1930s to be recovered by Earth's descendants in a future millennium.
"The time capsule thrilled Carl," writes Davidson. As an adult, Sagan
and his colleagues would create similar time capsules—capsules that
would be sent out into the galaxy; these were the
Pioneer plaque and
Voyager Golden Record
Voyager Golden Record précis, all of which were spinoffs of
Sagan's memories of the World's Fair.:15
World War II
During World War II Sagan's family worried about the fate of
their European relatives. Sagan, however, was generally unaware of the
details of the ongoing war. He wrote, "Sure, we had relatives who were
caught up in the Holocaust. Hitler was not a popular fellow in our
household... But on the other hand, I was fairly insulated from
the horrors of the war." His sister, Carol, said that their mother
"above all wanted to protect Carl... She had an extraordinarily
difficult time dealing with World War II and the
Holocaust.":15 Sagan's book,
The Demon-Haunted World
The Demon-Haunted World (1996),
included his memories of this conflicted period, when his family dealt
with the realities of the war in Europe but tried to prevent it from
undermining his optimistic spirit.
Inquisitiveness about nature
Soon after entering elementary school he began to express a strong
inquisitiveness about nature. Sagan recalled taking his first trips to
the public library alone, at the age of five, when his mother got him
a library card. He wanted to learn what stars were, since none of his
friends or their parents could give him a clear answer:
I went to the librarian and asked for a book about stars;... And the
answer was stunning. It was that the Sun was a star but really close.
The stars were suns, but so far away they were just little points of
light ... The scale of the universe suddenly opened up to me. It
was a kind of religious experience. There was a magnificence to it, a
grandeur, a scale which has never left me. Never ever left me.:18
At about age six or seven, he and a close friend took trips to the
American Museum of Natural History
American Museum of Natural History across the East River in Manhattan.
While there, they went to the
Hayden Planetarium and walked around the
museum's exhibits of space objects, such as meteorites, and displays
of dinosaurs and animals in natural settings. Sagan writes about those
I was transfixed by the dioramas—lifelike representations of animals
and their habitats all over the world. Penguins on the dimly lit
Antarctic ice; ...a family of gorillas, the male beating his
chest, ...an American grizzly bear standing on his hind legs, ten
or twelve feet tall, and staring me right in the eye.:18
His parents helped nurture his growing interest in science by buying
him chemistry sets and reading materials. His interest in space,
however, was his primary focus, especially after reading science
fiction stories by writers such as
H. G. Wells
H. G. Wells and Edgar Rice
Burroughs, which stirred his imagination about life on other planets
such as Mars. According to biographer Ray Spangenburg, these early
years as Sagan tried to understand the mysteries of the planets became
a "driving force in his life, a continual spark to his intellect, and
a quest that would never be forgotten."
In 1947 he discovered
Astounding Science Fiction
Astounding Science Fiction magazine, which
introduced him to more hard science fiction speculations than those in
Burroughs's novels. That same year inaugurated the "flying saucer"
mass hysteria with the young Carl suspecting the "discs" might be
High school years
Sagan had lived in Bensonhurst where he went to David A. Boody Junior
High School. He had his bar mitzvah in Bensonhurst when he turned
13.:23 The following year, 1948, his family moved to the nearby
Rahway, New Jersey
Rahway, New Jersey for his father's work, where Sagan then
entered Rahway High School. He graduated in 1951.:23 Rahway was an
older industrial town, and the Sagans were among its few Jewish
Photo of Sagan from high school yearbook, 1951
Sagan was a straight-A student but was bored due to unchallenging
classes and uninspiring teachers.:23 His teachers realized this and
tried to convince his parents to send him to a private school, the
administrator telling them, "This kid ought to go to a school for
gifted children, he has something really remarkable.":24 This they
couldn't do, partly because of the cost.
Sagan was made president of the school's chemistry club, and at home
he set up his own laboratory. He taught himself about molecules by
making cardboard cutouts to help him visualize how molecules were
formed: "I found that about as interesting as doing [chemical]
experiments," he said.:24 Sagan remained mostly interested in
astronomy as a hobby, and in his junior year made it a career goal
after he learned that astronomers were paid for doing what he always
enjoyed: "That was a splendid day—when I began to suspect
that if I tried hard I could do astronomy full-time, not just
Before the end of high school, he entered an essay contest in which he
posed the question of whether human contact with advanced life forms
from another planet might be as disastrous for people on Earth as it
was for Native Americans when they first had contact with
Europeans. The subject was considered controversial, but his
rhetorical skill won over the judges and they awarded him first
prize. By graduation, his classmates had voted him "Most likely to
succeed," and put him in line to be valedictorian.
Sagan attended the University of Chicago, which was one of the few
colleges he applied to that would consider admitting a
sixteen-year-old, despite his excellent high school grades. Its
Chancellor, Robert Hutchins, structured the school as an "ideal
meritocracy," with no age requirement. The school also employed a
number of the nation's leading scientists, including
Enrico Fermi and
Edward Teller, along with operating the famous Yerkes Observatory.
During his time as an honors program undergraduate, Sagan worked in
the laboratory of the geneticist H. J. Muller and wrote a thesis on
the origins of life with physical chemist Harold Urey. Sagan joined
the Ryerson Astronomical Society, received a B.A. degree in
self-proclaimed "nothing" with general and special honors in 1954, and
a B.S. degree in physics in 1955. He went on to earn a M.S. degree in
physics in 1956, before earning a Ph.D. degree in 1960 with the
dissertation "Physical Studies of Planets" submitted to the Department
Astronomy and Astrophysics.
He used the summer months of his graduate studies to work with his
dissertation director, planetary scientist Gerard Kuiper, as well as
physicist George Gamow, and chemist Melvin Calvin. The title of
Sagan's dissertation reflects his shared interests with Kuiper, who
throughout the 1950s had been president of the International
Astronomical Union's commission on "Physical Studies of Planets and
Satellites". In 1958, the two worked on the classified military
Project A119, the secret Air Force plan to detonate a nuclear warhead
on the Moon.
Sagan had a "Top Secret" clearance at the
U.S. Air Force
U.S. Air Force and a
"Secret" clearance with NASA. While working on his doctoral
dissertation, Sagan revealed US Government classified titles of two
Project A119 papers when he applied for a University of California at
Berkeley scholarship in 1959. The leak was not publicly revealed until
1999, when it was published in the journal "Nature". A follow-up
letter to the journal by project leader Leonard Reiffel confirmed
Sagan's security leak.
Sagan is one of those discussing the likelihood of life on other
planets in Who's Out There? (1973), an award-winning
film by Robert Drew.
From 1960 to 1962 Sagan was a Miller Fellow at the University of
California, Berkeley. Meanwhile, he published an article in 1961
in the journal Science on the atmosphere of Venus, while also working
Mariner 2 team, and served as a "Planetary Sciences
Consultant" to the RAND Corporation.
After the publication of Sagan's Science article, in 1961 Harvard
Fred Whipple and
Donald Menzel offered Sagan
the opportunity to give a colloquium at Harvard, and they subsequently
offered him a lecturer position at the institution. Sagan instead
asked to be made an assistant professor, and eventually Whipple and
Menzel were able to convince Harvard to offer Sagan the assistant
professor position he requested. Sagan lectured, performed
research, and advised graduate students at the institution from 1963
until 1968, as well as working at the Smithsonian Astrophysical
Observatory, also located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
In 1968, Sagan was denied tenure at Harvard. He later indicated the
decision was very much unexpected. The tenure denial has been
blamed on several factors, including that he focused his interests too
broadly across a number of areas (while the norm in academia is to
become a renowned expert in a narrow specialty), and perhaps because
of his well-publicized scientific advocacy, which some scientists
perceived as borrowing the ideas of others for little more than
self-promotion. An advisor from his years as an undergraduate
student, Harold Urey, wrote a letter to the tenure committee
recommending strongly against tenure for Sagan.
Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I
have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's
time – when the United States is a service and information
economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped
away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the
hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can
even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set
their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when,
clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our
critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what
feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back
into superstition and darkness.
Carl Sagan, from Demon-Haunted World (1995)
Long before the ill-fated tenure process,
Thomas Gold had courted Sagan to move to Ithaca, New York
and join the faculty at Cornell. Following the denial of tenure from
Harvard, Sagan accepted Gold's offer and remained a faculty member at
Cornell for nearly 30 years until his death in 1996. Unlike Harvard,
the smaller and more laid-back astronomy department at Cornell
welcomed Sagan's growing celebrity status. Following two years as
an associate professor, Sagan became a full professor at
1970, and directed the Laboratory for Planetary Studies there. From
1972 to 1981, he was associate director of the Center for Radiophysics
and Space Research (CRSR) at Cornell. In 1976, he became the David
Astronomy and Space Sciences, a position he held
for the remainder of his life.
Sagan was associated with the U.S. space program from its inception.
From the 1950s onward, he worked as an advisor to NASA, where one of
his duties included briefing the Apollo astronauts before their
flights to the Moon. Sagan contributed to many of the robotic
spacecraft missions that explored the Solar System, arranging
experiments on many of the expeditions. Sagan assembled the first
physical message that was sent into space: a gold-anodized plaque,
attached to the space probe Pioneer 10, launched in 1972.
Pioneer 11, also carrying another copy of the plaque, was
launched the following year. He continued to refine his designs; the
most elaborate message he helped to develop and assemble was the
Voyager Golden Record
Voyager Golden Record that was sent out with the Voyager space probes
in 1977. Sagan often challenged the decisions to fund the Space
Shuttle and the
International Space Station
International Space Station at the expense of further
Former student David Morrison describes Sagan as "an 'idea person' and
a master of intuitive physical arguments and 'back of the envelope'
Gerard Kuiper said that "Some persons work best
in specializing on a major program in the laboratory; others are best
in liaison between sciences. Dr. Sagan belongs in the latter
Sagan's contributions were central to the discovery of the high
surface temperatures of the planet Venus. In the early 1960s no
one knew for certain the basic conditions of Venus' surface, and Sagan
listed the possibilities in a report later depicted for popularization
Time–Life book, Planets. His own view was that
Venus was dry
and very hot as opposed to the balmy paradise others had imagined. He
had investigated radio emissions from
Venus and concluded that there
was a surface temperature of 500 °C (900 °F). As a
visiting scientist to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, he contributed
to the first Mariner missions to Venus, working on the design and
management of the project. Mariner 2 confirmed his conclusions on
the surface conditions of
Venus in 1962.
Sagan was among[clarification needed] the first to hypothesize that
Saturn's moon Titan might possess oceans of liquid compounds on its
surface and that Jupiter's moon Europa might possess subsurface oceans
of water. This would make Europa potentially habitable. Europa's
subsurface ocean of water was later indirectly confirmed by the
spacecraft Galileo. The mystery of Titan's reddish haze was also
solved with Sagan's help. The reddish haze was revealed to be due to
complex organic molecules constantly raining down onto Titan's
He further contributed insights regarding the atmospheres of
Jupiter as well as seasonal changes on Mars. He also perceived global
warming as a growing, man-made danger and likened it to the natural
Venus into a hot, life-hostile planet through a kind of
runaway greenhouse effect. Sagan and his
Cornell colleague Edwin
Ernest Salpeter speculated about life in Jupiter's clouds, given the
planet's dense atmospheric composition rich in organic molecules. He
studied the observed color variations on Mars' surface and concluded
that they were not seasonal or vegetational changes as most
believed[clarification needed] but shifts in surface dust caused by
Sagan is best known, however, for his research on the possibilities of
extraterrestrial life, including experimental demonstration of the
production of amino acids from basic chemicals by radiation.
He is also the 1994 recipient of the Public Welfare Medal, the highest
award of the
National Academy of Sciences
National Academy of Sciences for "distinguished
contributions in the application of science to the public
welfare". He was denied membership in the Academy, reportedly
because his media activities made him unpopular with many other
As of 2017, Sagan is the most cited
SETI scientist and one of the most
cited planetary scientists.
Cosmos: popularizing science on TV
In 1980 Sagan co-wrote and narrated the award-winning 13-part PBS
television series, Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, which became the most
widely watched series in the history of American public television.
The show has been seen by at least 500 million people across 60
different countries. The book, Cosmos, written by Sagan,
was published to accompany the series.
Because of his earlier popularity as a science writer from his
best-selling books, including The Dragons of Eden, which won him a
Pulitzer Prize in 1977, he was asked to write and narrate the show. It
was targeted to a general audience of viewers who Sagan felt had lost
interest in science, partly due to a stifled educational system.
Each of the 13 episodes was created to focus on a particular subject
or person, thereby demonstrating the synergy of the universe. They
covered a wide range of scientific subjects including the origin of
life and a perspective of humans' place on Earth.
The show won an Emmy along with a Peabody Award, and transformed
Sagan from an obscure astronomer into a pop-culture icon. Time
magazine ran a cover story about Sagan soon after the show broadcast,
referring to him as "creator, chief writer and host-narrator of the
show. In 2000, "Cosmos" was released on a remastered set of DVDs.
"Billions and billions"
See also: Sagan's number
Sagan with a model of the Viking lander that would land on Mars. Sagan
examined possible landing sites for Viking along with Mike Carr and
From Cosmos, he was invited to frequent appearances on The Tonight
Show Starring Johnny Carson. Sagan became associated with the
catchphrase "billions and billions", although he never actually used
the phrase in the
Cosmos series. He rather used the term "billions
upon billions." Carson, however, would sometimes use the phrase
during his parodies of Sagan.[a]
As a humorous tribute to Sagan and his association with the
catchphrase "billions and billions", a sagan has been defined as a
unit of measurement equivalent to a very large number –
technically at least four billion (two billion plus two
billion) – of anything.
Scientific and critical thinking advocacy
Sagan's ability to convey his ideas allowed many people to understand
the cosmos better—simultaneously emphasizing the value and
worthiness of the human race, and the relative insignificance of the
Earth in comparison to the Universe. He delivered the 1977 series of
Royal Institution Christmas Lectures
Royal Institution Christmas Lectures in London.
Sagan was a proponent of the search for extraterrestrial life. He
urged the scientific community to listen with radio telescopes for
signals from potential intelligent extraterrestrial life-forms. Sagan
was so persuasive that by 1982 he was able to get a petition
SETI published in the journal Science, signed by 70
scientists, including seven
Nobel Prize winners. This signaled a
tremendous increase in the respectability of a then-controversial
field. Sagan also helped
Frank Drake write the Arecibo message, a
radio message beamed into space from the Arecibo radio telescope on
November 16, 1974, aimed at informing potential extraterrestrials
Sagan was chief technology officer of the professional planetary
research journal Icarus for twelve years. He co-founded The Planetary
Society, and was a member of the
SETI Institute Board of Trustees.
Sagan served as Chairman of the Division for Planetary Science of the
American Astronomical Society, as President of the Planetology Section
of the American Geophysical Union, and as Chairman of the Astronomy
Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
The Planetary Society
The Planetary Society members at the organization's founding. Carl
Sagan is seated on the right.
At the height of the Cold War, Sagan became involved in nuclear
disarmament efforts by promoting hypotheses on the effects of nuclear
war, when Paul Crutzen's "Twilight at Noon" concept suggested that a
substantial nuclear exchange could trigger a nuclear twilight and
upset the delicate balance of life on Earth by cooling the surface. In
1983 he was one of five authors—the "S"—in the follow-up "TTAPS"
model (as the research paper came to be known), which contained the
first use of the term "nuclear winter", which his colleague Richard P.
Turco had coined. In 1984 he co-authored the book The Cold and
the Dark: The World after Nuclear War and in 1990 he co-authored the
book A Path Where No Man Thought: Nuclear Winter and the End of the
Arms Race, which explains the nuclear winter hypothesis and advocates
nuclear disarmament. Sagan received a great deal of skepticism and
disdain for the use of media to disseminate a very uncertain
hypothesis. In personal correspondence with
Edward Teller c. 1983,
although beginning amicably, with Teller expressing support for
continued research to ascertain the credibility of the winter
hypothesis, Sagan and Teller's correspondence would ultimately result
in Teller writing "A propagandist is one who uses incomplete
information to produce maximum persuasion. I can compliment you on
being, indeed, an excellent propagandist remembering that a
propagandist is the better the less he appears to be one".
Biographers of Sagan would also comment that from a scientific
viewpoint, nuclear winter was a low point for Sagan, although,
politically speaking, it popularized his image amongst the public.
Sagan also wrote books to popularize science, such as Cosmos, which
reflected and expanded upon some of the themes of A Personal Voyage
and became the best-selling science book ever published in
English; The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of
Human Intelligence, which won a Pulitzer Prize; and Broca's Brain:
Reflections on the Romance of Science. Sagan also wrote the
best-selling science fiction novel Contact in 1985, based on a film
treatment he wrote with his wife in 1979, but he did not live to see
the book's 1997 motion picture adaptation, which starred Jodie Foster
and won the 1998
Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.
Pale Blue Dot: Earth is a bright pixel when photographed from
Voyager 1 six billion kilometers out (beyond Pluto). Sagan
NASA to generate this image.
Pale Blue Dot
Pale Blue Dot (1994)
On it, everyone you ever heard of...The aggregate of all our joys and
sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic
doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every
creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every
young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father,
every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt
politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and
sinner in the history of our species, lived there on a mote of dust,
suspended in a sunbeam. . . .
Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and
emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary
masters of a fraction of a dot.
Cornell lecture in 1994
Sagan wrote a sequel to Cosmos, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human
Future in Space, which was selected as a notable book of 1995 by The
New York Times. He appeared on PBS's Charlie Rose program in January
1995. Sagan also wrote the introduction for Stephen Hawking's
bestseller, A Brief History of Time. Sagan was also known for his
popularization of science, his efforts to increase scientific
understanding among the general public, and his positions in favor of
scientific skepticism and against pseudoscience, such as his debunking
of the Betty and Barney Hill abduction. To mark the tenth anniversary
of Sagan's death, David Morrison, a former student of Sagan's,
recalled "Sagan's immense contributions to planetary research, the
public understanding of science, and the skeptical movement" in
Following Saddam Hussein's threats to light Kuwait's oil wells on fire
in response to any physical challenge to Iraqi control of the oil
assets, Sagan together with his "TTAPS" colleagues and Paul Crutzen,
warned in January 1991 in the
Baltimore Sun and Wilmington Morning
Star newspapers that if the fires were left to burn over a period of
several months, enough smoke from the 600 or so 1991 Kuwaiti oil fires
"might get so high as to disrupt agriculture in much of South
Asia ..." and that this possibility should "affect the war
plans"; these claims were also the subject of a televised
debate between Sagan and physicist
Fred Singer on 22 January, aired on
ABC News program Nightline.
Sagan admitted he had overestimated the danger posed by the 1991
Kuwaiti oil fires.
In the televised debate, Sagan argued that the effects of the smoke
would be similar to the effects of a nuclear winter, with Singer
arguing to the contrary. After the debate, the fires burnt for many
months before extinguishing efforts were complete. The results of the
smoke did not produce continental-sized cooling. Sagan later conceded
The Demon-Haunted World
The Demon-Haunted World that the prediction did not turn out to be
correct: "it was pitch black at noon and temperatures dropped
4°–6° C over the Persian Gulf, but not much smoke reached
stratospheric altitudes and Asia was spared".
In his later years Sagan advocated the creation of an organized search
for asteroids/near-Earth objects (NEOs) that might impact the Earth
but to forestall or postpone developing the technological methods that
would be needed to defend against them. He argued that all of the
numerous methods proposed to alter the orbit of an asteroid, including
the employment of nuclear detonations, created a Deflection Dilemma:
if the ability to deflect an asteroid away from the Earth exists, then
one would also have the ability to divert a non-threatening object
towards Earth, creating an immensely destructive weapon. In a
1994 paper he co-authored, he ridiculed a 3-day long "Near-Earth
Object Interception Workshop" held by Los Alamos National Laboratory
(LANL) in 1993 that did not, "even in passing" state that such
interception and deflection technologies could have these "ancillary
Sagan remained hopeful that the natural NEO impact threat, and the
intrinsically double-edged essence of the methods to prevent these
threats, would serve as a "new and potent motivation to maturing
international relations". Later acknowledging that, with
sufficient international oversight, in the future a "work our way up"
approach to implementing nuclear explosive deflection methods could be
fielded, and when sufficient knowledge was gained, to use them to aid
in mining asteroids. His interest in the use of nuclear
detonations in space grew out of his work in 1958 for the Armour
Research Foundation's Project A119, concerning the possibility of
detonating a nuclear device on the lunar surface.
Sagan was a critic of Plato, having said of the ancient Greek
philosopher: "Science and mathematics were to be removed from the
hands of the merchants and the artisans. This tendency found its most
effective advocate in a follower of
Pythagoras named Plato" and
He (Plato) believed that ideas were far more real than the natural
world. He advised the astronomers not to waste their time observing
the stars and planets. It was better, he believed, just to think about
Plato expressed hostility to observation and experiment. He
taught contempt for the real world and disdain for the practical
application of scientific knowledge. Plato's followers succeeded in
extinguishing the light of science and experiment that had been
Democritus and the other Ionians.
Speaking about his activities in popularizing science, Sagan said that
there were at least two reasons for scientists to share the purposes
of science and its contemporary state. Simple self-interest was one:
much of the funding for science came from the public, and the public
therefore had the right to know how the money was being spent. If
scientists increased public admiration for science, there was a good
chance of having more public supporters.[clarification needed] The
other reason was the excitement of communicating one's own excitement
about science to others.
While Sagan was widely adored by the general public, his reputation in
the scientific community was more polarized. Critics sometimes
characterized his work as fanciful, non-rigorous, and
self-aggrandizing, and others complained in his later years that
he neglected his role as a faculty member to foster his celebrity
One of Sagan's harshest critics, Harold Urey, felt that Sagan was
getting too much publicity for a scientist and was treating some
scientific theories too casually. Urey and Sagan were said to have
different philosophies of science, according to Davidson. While Urey
was an "old-time empiricist" who avoided theorizing about the unknown,
Sagan was by contrast willing to speculate openly about such
Fred Whipple wanted Harvard to keep Sagan there, but
learned that because Urey was a Nobel laureate, his opinion was an
important factor in Harvard denying Sagan tenure.
Sagan's Harvard friend
Lester Grinspoon also stated, "I know Harvard
well enough to know there are people there who certainly do not like
people who are outspoken." Grinspoon added:
Wherever you turned, there was one astronomer being quoted on
everything, one astronomer whose face you were seeing on TV, and one
astronomer whose books had the preferred display slot at the local
Some, like Urey, later came to realize Sagan's popular brand of
scientific advocacy was beneficial to the science as a whole. Urey
especially liked Sagan's 1977 book, The Dragons of Eden, and wrote
Sagan with his opinion: "I like it very much and am amazed that
someone like you has such an intimate knowledge of the various
features of the problem...I congratulate you...You are a man of many
Sagan was accused of borrowing some ideas of others for his own
benefit, and countered these claims by explaining that the
misappropriation was an unfortunate side effect of his role as a
science communicator and explainer, and that he attempted to give
proper credit whenever possible.
Sagan believed that the Drake equation, on substitution of reasonable
estimates, suggested that a large number of extraterrestrial
civilizations would form, but that the lack of evidence of such
civilizations highlighted by the
Fermi paradox suggests technological
civilizations tend to self-destruct. This stimulated his interest in
identifying and publicizing ways that humanity could destroy itself,
with the hope of avoiding such a cataclysm and eventually becoming a
spacefaring species. Sagan's deep concern regarding the potential
destruction of human civilization in a nuclear holocaust was conveyed
in a memorable cinematic sequence in the final episode of Cosmos,
called "Who Speaks for Earth?" Sagan had already
resigned[date missing] from the Air Force Scientific Advisory
Board's UFO investigating
Condon Committee and voluntarily surrendered
his top secret clearance in protest over the Vietnam War.
Following his marriage to his third wife (novelist Ann Druyan) in June
1981, Sagan became more politically active—particularly in opposing
escalation of the nuclear arms race under President Ronald Reagan.
The United States and Soviet Union/Russia nuclear stockpiles, in total
number of nuclear bombs/warheads in existence throughout the Cold War
Cold War era.
In March 1983, Reagan announced the Strategic Defense Initiative—a
multibillion-dollar project to develop a comprehensive defense against
attack by nuclear missiles, which was quickly dubbed the "Star Wars"
program. Sagan spoke out against the project, arguing that it was
technically impossible to develop a system with the level of
perfection required, and far more expensive to build such a system
than it would be for an enemy to defeat it through decoys and other
means—and that its construction would seriously destabilize the
"nuclear balance" between the United States and the Soviet Union,
making further progress toward nuclear disarmament impossible.
When Soviet leader
Mikhail Gorbachev declared a unilateral moratorium
on the testing of nuclear weapons, which would begin on August 6,
1985—the 40th anniversary of the atomic bombing of
Hiroshima—the Reagan administration dismissed the dramatic move as
nothing more than propaganda, and refused to follow suit. In response,
US anti-nuclear and peace activists staged a series of protest actions
at the Nevada Test Site, beginning on
Easter Sunday in 1986 and
continuing through 1987. Hundreds of people in the "Nevada Desert
Experience" group were arrested, including Sagan, who was arrested on
two separate occasions as he climbed over a chain-link fence at the
test site during the underground
Operation Charioteer and United
States's Musketeer nuclear test series of detonations.
Sagan was also a vocal advocate of the controversial notion of
testosterone poisoning, arguing in 1992 that human males could become
gripped by an "unusually severe [case of] testosterone poisoning" and
this could compel them to become genocidal. In his review of
Moondance magazine writer Daniela Gioseffi's 1990 book Women on War,
he argues that females are the only half of humanity "untainted by
testosterone poisoning". One chapter of his 1993 book, Shadows of
Forgotten Ancestors is dedicated to testosterone and its alleged
Personal life and beliefs
I have just finished
The Cosmic Connection and loved every word of it.
You are my idea of a good writer because you have an unmannered style,
and when I read what you write, I hear you talking. One thing about
the book made me nervous. It was entirely too obvious that you are
smarter than I am. I hate that.
Isaac Asimov, in letter to Sagan, 1973
Sagan was married three times. In 1957, he married biologist Lynn
Margulis. The couple had two children, Jeremy and Dorion Sagan. After
Carl Sagan and Margulis divorced, he married artist Linda Salzman in
1968 and they also had a child together, Nick Sagan. During these
Carl Sagan focused heavily on his career, a factor which
may have contributed to Sagan's first divorce. In 1981, Sagan
Ann Druyan and they later had two children, Alexandra
and Samuel Sagan.
Carl Sagan and Druyan remained married until his
death in 1996. He lived in an Egyptian revival house in Ithaca perched
on the edge of a cliff that had formerly been the headquarters of a
Cornell secret society.
Isaac Asimov described Sagan as one of only two people he ever met
whose intellect surpassed his own. The other, he claimed, was the
computer scientist and artificial intelligence expert Marvin
Sagan wrote frequently about religion and the relationship between
religion and science, expressing his skepticism about the conventional
God as a sapient being. For example:
Some people think
God is an outsized, light-skinned male with a long
white beard, sitting on a throne somewhere up there in the sky, busily
tallying the fall of every sparrow. Others—for example Baruch
Spinoza and Albert Einstein—considered
God to be essentially the sum
total of the physical laws which describe the universe. I do not know
of any compelling evidence for anthropomorphic patriarchs controlling
human destiny from some hidden celestial vantage point, but it would
be madness to deny the existence of physical laws.
In another description of his view on the concept of God, Sagan
The idea that
God is an oversized white male with a flowing beard who
sits in the sky and tallies the fall of every sparrow is ludicrous.
But if by
God one means the set of physical laws that govern the
universe, then clearly there is such a God. This
God is emotionally
unsatisfying ... it does not make much sense to pray to the law
On atheism, Sagan commented in 1981:
An atheist is someone who is certain that
God does not exist, someone
who has compelling evidence against the existence of God. I know of no
such compelling evidence. Because
God can be relegated to remote times
and places and to ultimate causes, we would have to know a great deal
more about the universe than we do now to be sure that no such God
exists. To be certain of the existence of
God and to be certain of the
God seem to me to be the confident extremes in a
subject so riddled with doubt and uncertainty as to inspire very
little confidence indeed.
Sagan also commented on Christianity and the Jefferson Bible, stating
"My long-time view about Christianity is that it represents an amalgam
of two seemingly immiscible parts, the religion of Jesus and the
religion of Paul.
Thomas Jefferson attempted to excise the Pauline
parts of the New Testament. There wasn't much left when he was done,
but it was an inspiring document."
Regarding spirituality and its relationship with science, Sagan
'Spirit' comes from the Latin word 'to breathe'. What we breathe is
air, which is certainly matter, however thin. Despite usage to the
contrary, there is no necessary implication in the word 'spiritual'
that we are talking of anything other than matter (including the
matter of which the brain is made), or anything outside the realm of
science. On occasion, I will feel free to use the word. Science is not
only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of
spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of
light-years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy,
beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of
elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual.
An environmental appeal, "Preserving and Cherishing the Earth", signed
by Sagan with other noted scientists in January 1990, stated that "The
historical record makes clear that religious teaching, example, and
leadership are powerfully able to influence personal conduct and
commitment... Thus, there is a vital role for religion and science."
In reply to a question in 1996 about his religious beliefs, Sagan
answered, "I'm agnostic." Sagan maintained that the idea of a
God of the
Universe was difficult to prove or disprove and
that the only conceivable scientific discovery that could challenge it
would be an infinitely old universe. Sagan's views on religion
have been interpreted as a form of pantheism comparable to Einstein's
belief in Spinoza's God. His son,
Dorion Sagan said, "My father
believed in the
God of Spinoza and Einstein,
God not behind nature but
as nature, equivalent to it." His last wife, Ann Druyan, stated:
When my husband died, because he was so famous and known for not being
a believer, many people would come up to me—it still sometimes
happens—and ask me if Carl changed at the end and converted to a
belief in an afterlife. They also frequently ask me if I think I will
see him again. Carl faced his death with unflagging courage and never
sought refuge in illusions. The tragedy was that we knew we would
never see each other again. I don't ever expect to be reunited with
Ann Druyan edited Sagan's 1985 Glasgow
Gifford Lectures in
Natural Theology into a book, The Varieties of Scientific Experience:
A Personal View of the Search for God, in which he elaborates on his
views of divinity in the natural world.
Carl Sagan (center) speaks with CDC employees in 1988.
Sagan is also widely regarded as a freethinker or skeptic; one of his
most famous quotations, in Cosmos, was, "Extraordinary claims require
extraordinary evidence" (called the "Sagan standard" by some).
This was based on a nearly identical statement by fellow founder of
the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the
Paranormal, Marcello Truzzi, "An extraordinary claim requires
extraordinary proof." This idea had been earlier aphorized
in Théodore Flournoy's work From India to the Planet
Mars (1899) from
a longer quote by
Pierre-Simon Laplace (1749–1827), a French
mathematician and astronomer, as the Principle of Laplace: "The weight
of the evidence should be proportioned to the strangeness of the
Late in his life, Sagan's books elaborated on his skeptical,
naturalistic view of the world. In The Demon-Haunted World, he
presented tools for testing arguments and detecting fallacious or
fraudulent ones, essentially advocating wide use of critical thinking
and the scientific method. The compilation Billions and Billions:
Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium, published
in 1997 after Sagan's death, contains essays written by Sagan, such as
his views on abortion, and his widow Ann Druyan's account of his death
as a skeptic, agnostic, and freethinker.
Sagan warned against humans' tendency towards anthropocentrism. He was
the faculty adviser for the
Cornell Students for the Ethical Treatment
of Animals. In the
Cosmos chapter "Blues For a Red Planet", Sagan
wrote, "If there is life on Mars, I believe we should do nothing with
Mars then belongs to the Martians, even if the Martians are only
Sagan was a user and advocate of marijuana. Under the pseudonym
"Mr. X", he contributed an essay about smoking cannabis to the
1971 book Marihuana Reconsidered. The essay explained that
marijuana use had helped to inspire some of Sagan's works and enhance
sensual and intellectual experiences. After Sagan's death, his friend
Lester Grinspoon disclosed this information to Sagan's biographer,
Keay Davidson. The publishing of the biography, Carl Sagan: A Life, in
1999 brought media attention to this aspect of Sagan's
life. Not long after his death, widow
Ann Druyan had
gone on to preside over the board of directors of the National
Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), a non-profit
organization dedicated to reforming cannabis laws.
In 1994, engineers at Apple Computer code-named the Power
Macintosh 7100 "Carl Sagan" in the hope that Apple would make
"billions and billions" with the sale of the PowerMac 7100.
The name was only used internally, but Sagan was concerned that it
would become a product endorsement and sent Apple a cease-and-desist
letter. Apple complied, but engineers retaliated by changing the
internal codename to "BHA" for "Butt-Head Astronomer". Sagan
then sued Apple for libel in federal court. The court granted Apple's
motion to dismiss Sagan's claims and opined in dicta that a reader
aware of the context would understand Apple was "clearly attempting to
retaliate in a humorous and satirical way", and that "It strains
reason to conclude that Defendant was attempting to criticize
Plaintiff's reputation or competency as an astronomer. One does not
seriously attack the expertise of a scientist using the undefined
phrase 'butt-head'." Sagan then sued for Apple's original
use of his name and likeness, but again lost. Sagan appealed the
ruling. In November 1995, an out-of-court settlement was reached
and Apple's office of trademarks and patents released a conciliatory
statement that "Apple has always had great respect for Dr. Sagan.
It was never Apple's intention to cause Dr. Sagan or his family
any embarrassment or concern." Apple's third and final code name
for the project was "LAW", short for "Lawyers are Wimps".
Sagan briefly served as an adviser on Stanley Kubrick's film 2001: A
Space Odyssey.:168 Sagan proposed that the film suggest, rather
than depict, extraterrestrial superintelligence.
Sagan and UFOs
In 1947, the year that inaugurated the "flying saucer" craze, the
young Sagan suspected the "discs" might be alien spaceships.
Sagan's interest in UFO reports prompted him on August 3, 1952, to
write a letter to U.S. Secretary of State
Dean Acheson to ask how
the United States would respond if flying saucers turned out to be
extraterrestrial.:51–52 He later had several conversations on the
subject in 1964 with Jacques Vallée. Though quite skeptical of
any extraordinary answer to the UFO question, Sagan thought scientists
should study the phenomenon, at least because there was widespread
public interest in UFO reports.
Stuart Appelle notes that Sagan "wrote frequently on what he perceived
as the logical and empirical fallacies regarding UFOs and the
abduction experience. Sagan rejected an extraterrestrial explanation
for the phenomenon but felt there were both empirical and pedagogical
benefits for examining UFO reports and that the subject was,
therefore, a legitimate topic of study."
In 1966 Sagan was a member of the Ad Hoc Committee to Review
Project Blue Book, the U.S. Air Force's UFO investigation
project. The committee concluded Blue
Book had been lacking as a
scientific study, and recommended a university-based project to give
the UFO phenomenon closer scientific scrutiny. The result was the
Condon Committee (1966–68), led by physicist Edward Condon, and in
their final report they formally concluded that UFOs, regardless of
what any of them actually were, did not behave in a manner consistent
with a threat to national security.
Ron Westrum writes that "The high point of Sagan's
treatment of the UFO question was the AAAS' symposium in 1969. A wide
range of educated opinions on the subject were offered by
participants, including not only proponents such as James McDonald and
J. Allen Hynek but also skeptics like astronomers William
Hartmann and Donald Menzel. The roster of speakers was balanced, and
it is to Sagan's credit that this event was presented in spite of
pressure from Edward Condon." With physicist Thornton Page, Sagan
edited the lectures and discussions given at the symposium; these were
published in 1972 as UFO's: A Scientific Debate. Some of Sagan's many
books examine UFOs (as did one episode of Cosmos) and he claimed a
religious undercurrent to the phenomenon.
Sagan again revealed his views on interstellar travel in his 1980
Cosmos series. In one of his last written works, Sagan argued that the
chances of extraterrestrial spacecraft visiting Earth are vanishingly
small. However, Sagan did think it plausible that
Cold War concerns
contributed to governments misleading their citizens about UFOs, and
wrote that "some UFO reports and analyses, and perhaps voluminous
files, have been made inaccessible to the public which pays the
bills ... It's time for the files to be declassified and made
generally available." He cautioned against jumping to conclusions
about suppressed UFO data and stressed that there was no strong
evidence that aliens were visiting the Earth either in the past or
Sagan's contribution to the 1969 symposium was an attack on the belief
that UFOs are piloted by extraterrestrial beings: Applying several
logical assumptions (see Drake equation), Sagan calculated the
possible number of advanced civilizations capable of interstellar
travel to be about one million. He projected that any civilization
wishing to check on all the others on a regular basis of, say, once a
year would have to launch 10,000 spacecraft annually. Not only does
that seem like an unreasonable number of launchings, but it would take
all the material in one percent of the universe's stars to produce all
the spaceships needed for all the civilizations to seek each other
To argue that the earth was being chosen for regular visitations,
Sagan said, one would have to assume that the planet is somehow
unique. And that assumption "goes exactly against the idea that there
are lots of civilizations around. Because if there are then our sort
of civilization must be pretty common. And if we're not pretty common
then there aren't going to be many civilizations advanced enough to
This argument, which some called "Sagan's paradox," helped to
establish a new school of thought: the belief that extraterrestrial
life exists but has nothing to do with UFOs. The new belief had a
salutary effect on UFO studies. It helped separate researchers who
wanted to identify unidentified flying objects from those who wanted
to identify their pilots. And it gave scientists opportunities to
search the universe for intelligent life unencumbered by the stigma
associated with UFOs.
Stone dedicated to
Carl Sagan in the Celebrity Path of the Brooklyn
After suffering from myelodysplasia for two years, and receiving three
bone marrow transplants from his sister Cari, Sagan died of pneumonia
at the age of 62, at the
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in
Seattle, Washington, in the early morning of December 20, 1996.
Burial took place at Lakeview Cemetery in Ithaca, New York.
The 1997 movie Contact, based on Sagan's novel of the same name and
finished after his death, ends with the dedication "For Carl". His
photo can also be seen at 59:23 in the film.
In 1997 the
Sagan Planet Walk
Sagan Planet Walk was opened in Ithaca, New York. It is a
walking-scale model of the Solar System, extending 1.2 km from
the center of The Commons in downtown Ithaca to the Sciencenter, a
hands-on museum. The exhibition was created in memory of Carl Sagan,
who was an Ithaca resident and
Professor Sagan had
been a founding member of the museum's advisory board.
The landing site of the unmanned
Mars Pathfinder spacecraft was
Carl Sagan Memorial Station on July 5, 1997. Asteroid
2709 Sagan is named in his honor, as is the
Carl Sagan Institute
for the search of habitable planets.
Sagan's son, Nick Sagan, wrote several episodes in the Star Trek
franchise. In an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise entitled "Terra
Prime", a quick shot is shown of the relic rover Sojourner, part of
Mars Pathfinder mission, placed by a historical marker at Carl
Sagan Memorial Station on the Martian surface. The marker displays a
quote from Sagan: "Whatever the reason you're on Mars, I'm glad you're
there, and I wish I was with you." Sagan's student
Steve Squyres led
the team that landed the rovers Spirit and Opportunity successfully on
Mars in 2004.
On November 9, 2001, on what would have been Sagan's 67th birthday,
Ames Research Center
Ames Research Center dedicated the site for the
Carl Sagan Center
for the Study of Life in the Cosmos. "Carl was an incredible
visionary, and now his legacy can be preserved and advanced by a
21st century research and education laboratory committed to
enhancing our understanding of life in the universe and furthering the
cause of space exploration for all time", said
Ann Druyan was at the Center as it opened its doors on
October 22, 2006.
Sagan has at least three awards named in his honor:
Carl Sagan Memorial Award presented jointly since 1997 by the
American Astronomical Society and The Planetary Society,
Carl Sagan Medal for Excellence in Public Communication in
Planetary Science presented since 1998 by the American Astronomical
Division for Planetary Sciences (AAS/DPS) for outstanding
communication by an active planetary scientist to the general
Carl Sagan was one of the original organizing committee
members of the DPS, and
Carl Sagan Award for Public Understanding of Science presented by
the Council of Scientific Society Presidents (CSSP)—Sagan was the
first recipient of the CSSP award in 1993.
August 2007 the
Independent Investigations Group
Independent Investigations Group (IIG) awarded Sagan
posthumously a Lifetime Achievement Award. This honor has also been
Harry Houdini and James Randi.
Beginning in 2009, a musical project known as Symphony of Science
sampled several excerpts of Sagan from his series
Cosmos and remixed
them to electronic music. To date, the videos have received over
21 million views worldwide on YouTube.
The 2014 Swedish science fiction short film Wanderers uses excerpts of
Sagan's narration of his book Pale Blue Dot, played over
digitally-created visuals of humanity's possible future expansion into
In February 2015, the Finnish-based symphonic metal band Nightwish
released the song "Sagan" as a non-album bonus track for their single
"Élan". The song, written by the band's
songwriter/composer/keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen, is an homage to the
life and work of the late Carl Sagan.
In August 2015, it was announced that a biopic of Sagan's life was
being planned by Warner Bros.
Awards and honors
NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal
Annual Award for Television Excellence—1981—Ohio State
PBS series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage
Apollo Achievement Award—National Aeronautics and Space
NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal—National Aeronautics and
Space Administration (1977)
Emmy—Outstanding Individual Achievement—1981—
PBS series Cosmos:
A Personal Voyage
Emmy—Outstanding Informational Series—1981—
PBS series Cosmos: A
Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal—National Aeronautics and
Helen Caldicott Leadership Award – Awarded by Women's Action for
Hugo Award—1981—Best Dramatic Presentation—Cosmos: A Personal
Hugo Award—1981—Best Related Non-Fiction Book—Cosmos
Hugo Award—1998—Best Dramatic Presentation—Contact
Humanist of the Year—1981—Awarded by the American Humanist
American Philosophical Society—1995—Elected to membership.
In Praise of Reason Award—1987—Committee for Skeptical Inquiry
Isaac Asimov Award—1994—Committee for Skeptical Inquiry
John F. Kennedy Astronautics Award—1982—American Astronautical
Special non-fiction Campbell Memorial Award—1974—The Cosmic
Connection: An Extraterrestrial Perspective
Joseph Priestley Award—"For distinguished contributions to the
welfare of mankind"
Klumpke-Roberts Award of the Astronomical Society of the
Konstantin Tsiolkovsky Medal—Awarded by the Soviet Cosmonauts
Locus Award 1986—Contact
Lowell Thomas Award—The Explorers Club—75th Anniversary
Masursky Award—American Astronomical Society
Miller Research Fellowship—
Miller Institute (1960–1962)
Oersted Medal—1990—American Association of
PBS series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage
Le Prix Galabert d'astronautique—International Astronautical
Public Welfare Medal—1994—National Academy of Sciences
Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction—1978—The Dragons of Eden
Science Fiction Chronicle Award—1998—Dramatic
Named the "99th Greatest American" on June 5, 2005, Greatest American
television series on the Discovery Channel
Named an honorary member of the
Demosthenian Literary Society
Demosthenian Literary Society on
November 10, 2011
New Jersey Hall of Fame—2009—Inductee.
Committee for Skeptical Inquiry
Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) Pantheon of Skeptics—April
Sagan, Carl; Leonard, Jonathan Norton (1966). Planets. Life Science
Library. Editors of Life. New York:
Time Inc. LCCN 66022436.
——; Shklovskii, I.S. (1966) [Originally published 1962 as
Вселенная, жизнь, разум; Moscow: USSR Academy of
Sciences Publisher]. Intelligent Life in the Universe. Authorized
translation by Paula Fern. San Francisco: Holden-Day, Inc.
LCCN 64018404. OCLC 317314.
——; Page, Thornton, eds. (1972). UFO's: A Scientific Debate.
Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-801-40740-0.
LCCN 72004572. OCLC 415373.
——, ed. (1973). Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence
(CETI). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-19106-7.
LCCN 73013999. OCLC 700752.
——; Bradbury, Ray; Clarke, Arthur C.; et al. (1973).
Mars and the
Mind of Man (1st ed.). New York: Harper & Row.
ISBN 0-060-10443-0. LCCN 72009746. OCLC 613541.
—— (1973). The Cosmic Connection: An Extraterrestrial Perspective.
Produced by Jerome Agel (1st ed.). Garden City, NY: Anchor Press.
ISBN 0-385-00457-5. LCCN 73081117. OCLC 756158.
—— (1975). Other Worlds. Produced by Jerome Agel. Toronto, NY:
Bantam Books. ISBN 0-552-66439-1. OCLC 3029556.
—— (1977). The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of
Human Intelligence (1st ed.). New York: Random House.
ISBN 0-394-41045-9. LCCN 76053472. OCLC 2922889.
——; Drake, F. D.; Lomberg, Jon; et al. (1978). Murmurs of Earth:
The Voyager Interstellar Record (1st ed.). New York: Random House.
ISBN 0-394-41047-5. LCCN 77005991. OCLC 4037611.
—— (1979). Broca's Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science
(1st ed.). New York: Random House. ISBN 0-394-50169-1.
LCCN 78021810. OCLC 4493944.
Cosmos (1st ed.). New York: Random House.
ISBN 0-394-50294-9. LCCN 80005286. OCLC 6280573.
——; Ehrlich, Paul R.; Kennedy, Donald; et al. (1984). The Cold and
the Dark: The World after Nuclear War: The Conference on the Long-Term
Worldwide Biological Consequences of Nuclear War. Foreword by Lewis
Thomas (1st ed.). New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
ISBN 0-393-01870-9. LCCN 84006070. OCLC 10697281.
——; Druyan, Ann (1985). Comet (1st ed.). New York: Random House.
ISBN 0-394-54908-2. LCCN 85008308.
—— (1985). Contact: A Novel. New York: Simon & Schuster.
ISBN 0-671-43400-4. LCCN 85014645. OCLC 12344811.
——; Turco, Richard (1990). A Path Where No Man Thought: Nuclear
Winter and the End of the Arms Race (1st ed.). New York: Random House.
ISBN 0-394-58307-8. LCCN 89043155. OCLC 20217496.
——; Druyan, Ann (1992). Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors: A Search
for Who We Are (1st ed.). New York: Random House.
ISBN 0-394-53481-6. LCCN 92050155. OCLC 25675747.
Sagan, Carl; Turco, Richard P. (November 1993). "Nuclear Winter in the
Cold War Era". Journal of Peace Research. Sage Publications, Ltd.
30 (4): 369–373. doi:10.1177/0022343393030004001.
—— (1994). Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space
(1st ed.). New York: Random House. ISBN 0-679-43841-6.
LCCN 94018121. OCLC 30736355.
—— (1995). The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the
Dark (1st ed.). New York: Random House. ISBN 0-394-53512-X.
LCCN 95034076. OCLC 779687822. (Note: errata slip
——; Druyan, Ann (1997). Billions and Billions: Thoughts on Life
and Death at the Brink of the Millennium (1st ed.). New York: Random
House. ISBN 0-679-41160-7. LCCN 96052730.
—— (2006) [Edited from 1985 Gifford Lectures, University of
Glasgow]. Druyan, Ann, ed. The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A
Personal View of the Search for God. New York: Penguin Press.
ISBN 1-59420-107-2. LCCN 2006044827.
Book: Carl Sagan
List of peace activists
Neil deGrasse Tyson
^ Richard Feynman, a precursor to Sagan, was observed to have used the
phrase "billions and billions" many times in his "red books". However,
Sagan's frequent use of the word billions, and distinctive delivery
emphasizing the "b" (which he did intentionally, in place of more
cumbersome alternatives such as "billions with a 'b'", in order to
distinguish the word from "millions"), made him a favorite target
of comic performers, including Johnny Carson, Gary Kroeger, Mike
Myers, Bronson Pinchot, Penn Jillette, Harry Shearer, and others.
Frank Zappa satirized the line in the song "Be in My Video", noting as
well "atomic light". Sagan took this all in good humor, and his final
book was entitled Billions and Billions, which opened with a
tongue-in-cheek discussion of this catchphrase, observing that Carson
was an amateur astronomer and that Carson's comic caricature often
included real science.
^ CSI was formerly CSICOP, the Committee for the Scientific
Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal.
^ a b Sagan, Carl; Head, Tom (2006). Conversations with Carl Sagan
(illustrated ed.). Univ. Press of Mississippi. p. 14.
ISBN 978-1-57806-736-7. Extract of page 14
^ a b "Google Scholar page for Carl Sagan".
^ a b "StarChild: Dr. Carl Sagan". StarChild. NASA. Retrieved October
^ The Seth MacFarlane Collection of the
Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan
Archive: A Finding Aid to the Collection in the Library of Congress
(PDF). Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. 2013.
^ Lowensohn, Josh (February 4, 2014). "Massive
Carl Sagan archive
posted by Library of Congress". The Verge. Retrieved 16 January
^ a b Poundstone 1999, pp. 363–364, 374–375
^ "Carl Sagan". Internet Accuracy Project. Grandville, MI: Internet
Accuracy Project. Retrieved August 22, 2012.
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v Davidson 1999
^ a b c Spangenburg & Moser 2004, pp. 2–5
^ a b c "American National Biography Online, Carl Sagan".
^ a b c Poundstone 1999, p. 15
^ a b Poundstone 1999, p. 14
^ "Ryerson Astronomical Society". Ryerson Astronomical Society (RAS).
University of Chicago
University of Chicago Department of
Astronomy and Astrophysics.
Retrieved August 22, 2012.
^ Sagan, Carl (June 1960), Physical Studies of the Planets
(dissertation), University of Chicago, p. ii, A thesis in four
parts submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the
Doctor of Philosophy
Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Astronomy,
University of Chicago, June, 1960.
^ "Graduate students receive first Sagan teaching awards". University
of Chicago Chronicle.
University of Chicago
University of Chicago News Office. 13 (6).
November 11, 1993. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
^ Head 2006, p. xxi
^ Spangenburg & Moser 2004, p. 28
^ Tatarewicz, Joseph N. (1990), Space
Technology & Planetary
Astronomy, Science, technology, and society, Bloomington, IN: Indiana
University Press, p. 22, ISBN 0-253-35655-5
^ Ulivi, Paolo (April 6, 2004). "Lunar Exploration: Human Pioneers and
Robotic Surveyors". Springer Science & Business Media.
^ a b c d e f Morrison, David (January–February 2007). "Carl Sagan's
Life and Legacy as Scientist, Teacher, and Skeptic". Skeptical
Inquirer. Amherst, NY: Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. 31.1: 29–38.
ISSN 0194-6730. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
^ Reiffel, Leonard (4 May 2000). "Sagan breached security by revealing
US work on a lunar bomb project". Nature. 405 (13): Correspondence.
^ "Happy (Belated) Birthday Carl!". University of California, Berkeley
The Berkeley Science Review. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
^ a b Davidson, Keay (1999). Carl Sagan:A life. John Wiley & Sons.
p. 138. ISBN 0-471-25286-7.
^ Davidson, Keay (1999). Carl Sagan:A life. John Wiley & Sons.
p. 204. ISBN 0-471-25286-7.
^ Sagan, Carl. Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark,
Balantine Books (1996) p. 25
^ Davidson, Keay (1999). Carl Sagan:A life. John Wiley & Sons.
p. 213. ISBN 0-471-25286-7.
^ Sagan, Carl; Head, Tom (2006). Conversations with Carl Sagan
(illustrated ed.). Univ. Press of Mississippi. p. xxi.
ISBN 978-1-57806-736-7. Extract of page xxi
^ a b Sagan, Carl (January 5, 1995). "An Interview with Carl Sagan".
Charlie Rose (Interview). New York: PBS. Retrieved August 30,
^ Pierrehumbert, Raymond T. (2010). Principles of Planetary Climate.
Cambridge University Press. p. 202.
ISBN 978-1-139-49506-6. Extract of page 202
^ Much of Sagan's research in the field of planetary science is
outlined by William Poundstone. Poundstone's biography of Sagan
includes an 8-page list of Sagan's scientific articles published from
1957 to 1998. Detailed information about Sagan's scientific work comes
from the primary research articles. Example: Sagan, C.; Thompson,
W.R.; Khare, B.N. (1992). "Titan: A Laboratory for Prebiological
Organic Chemistry". Accounts of Chemical Research. Washington, D.C.:
American Chemical Society. 25 (7): 286–292.
doi:10.1021/ar00019a003. There is commentary on this research
article about Titan at David J. Darling's The Encyclopedia of Science.
^ Pafumi, G.R. (2010). Is Our Vision of
God Obsolete?: Often What We
Believe is not What We Observe. Bloomington, IN: Xlibris. p. 338.
ISBN 978-1-4415-9041-1. OCLC 710798384. Retrieved August 30,
^ Sagan, Carl (1985) [Originally published 1980].
Ballantine Books ed.). New York: Ballantine Books.
ISBN 0-345-33135-4. LCCN 80005286. OCLC 12814276.
^ "Sagan, Carl Edward".
Columbia Encyclopedia (Sixth ed.). New York:
Columbia University Press. May 2001. Archived from the original on
October 11, 2007. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
^ No Writer Attributed (1963-08-21). "Sagan Synthesizes ATP In
Laboratory". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 2015-09-12.
^ "Carl Sagan". Pasadena, CA: The Planetary Society. Retrieved August
^ Benford, Gregory (1997). "A Tribute to Carl Sagan: Popular &
Pilloried". Skeptic. The Skeptics Society. 13 (1).
^ Shermer, Michael. "Candle in the Dark". The Works of Michael
Shermer. Michael Shermer. Retrieved March 10, 2013. Article
originally published in November 2003 issue of Scientific American.
^ Impey, Chris (January–February 2000). "Carl Sagan, Carl Sagan:
Biographies Echo an Extraordinary Life".
American Scientist (Book
review). Sigma Xi. 88 (1). ISSN 0003-0996. Retrieved March 10,
^ "Carl Sagan". EMuseum. Minnesota State University, Mankato. Archived
from the original on May 28, 2010. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
^ "CosmoLearning Astronomy". CosmoLearning. Retrieved October 8,
^ Vergano, Dan (March 16, 2014). "Who Was Carl Sagan?". National
Geographic Daily News. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society.
Retrieved May 13, 2014.
^ a b Browne, Ray Broadus. The Guide to United States Popular Culture,
Popular Press (2001) p. 704
^ a b c "Cosmos". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved
September 4, 2013.
^ Popular Science, Oct. 2005, p. 90
^ Golden, Frederic (October 20, 1980). "The Cosmic Explainer". Time.
Retrieved August 30, 2013.
^ I Han (July 14, 2015). "
Carl Sagan on the Tonight Show with Johnny
Carson (full item, 1980)" – via YouTube.
^ a b c Sagan & Druyan 1997, pp. 3–4
^ Shapiro, Fred R., ed. (2006). The Yale
Book of Quotations. Foreword
by Joseph Epstein. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. p. 660.
ISBN 978-0-300-10798-2. LCCN 2006012317.
^ 24fpsfan (December 22, 2012). "
Carl Sagan (Cosmos) Parody by Johnny
Carson (1980)" – via YouTube.
^ Frazier, Kendrick, ed. (July–August 2005). "
Carl Sagan Takes
Questions: More From His 'Wonder and Skepticism' CSICOP 1994 Keynote".
Skeptical Inquirer. Amherst, NY: The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.
29.4. Retrieved March 25, 2010.
Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House. Retrieved August
31, 2013. Jargon
^ Safire, William (April 17, 1994). "Footprints on the Infobahn". The
New York Times. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
^ Gresshoff, P.M. (2004). "Scheel D. and Wasternack C.(eds) Plant
Signal Transduction" (PDF).
Annals of Botany (
Book review). Oxford
University Press. 93 (6): 783–784. doi:10.1093/aob/mch102. Retrieved
August 31, 2013.
^ "Christmas Lectures 1977: The Planets : Ri Channel". Ri
Royal Institution of Great Britain. Retrieved
February 7, 2012.
^ Turco, R.P.; Toon, O.B.; Ackerman, T.P.; Pollack, J.B.; Sagan, C.
(January 12, 1990). "Climate and smoke: an appraisal of nuclear
winter". Science. Washington, D.C.: American Association for the
Advancement of Science. 247 (4939): 166–176.
doi:10.1126/science.11538069. Retrieved August 31, 2013. JSTOR
link to full text article.
Carl Sagan discussed his involvement in the
political nuclear winter debates and his erroneous global cooling
prediction for the Gulf War fires in his book, The Demon-Haunted
^ "Answers - The Most Trusted Place for Answering Life's Questions".
^ a b "The U.S. National Security State and Scientists'Challenge to
Nuclear Weapons during the Cold War. Paul Harold Rubinson 2008."
(PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on September 24, 2014.
^ "Meet Carl Sagan". The Science Channel. Discovery Communications.
Archived from the original on May 18, 2007. Retrieved August 31,
^ Sagan, Carl. Recorded lecture at
Cornell in 1994, from Pale Blue
Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, Ballantine Books (reprint)
(1997) p. 88
^ "PAGE 1 OF 2: Burning oil wells could be disaster, Sagan says
January 23, 1991".
^ Wilmington morning Star January 21'st, 1991
^ Hirschmann, Kris. "The Kuwaiti Oil Fires". Facts on File. Archived
from the original on January 2, 2014.
^ "FIRST ISRAELI SCUD FATALITIES OIL FIRES IN KUWAIT". Nightline. yes.
^ Sagan 1995, p. 257
^ Head 2006, p. 86–87
^ a b c Sagan, Carl; Ostro, Steven J. (Summer 1994). "Long-Range
Consequences Of Interplanetary Collisions" (PDF). Issues in Science
and Technology. Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Sciences. 10
(4): 67–72. Bibcode:1994IST....10...67S. ISSN 0748-5492.
Archived from the original (PDF) on December 3, 2013. Retrieved August
^ a b "Chapter 18. The Marsh of Camarina - Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of
the Human Future in Space". e-reading.club.
^ Morrison, David (October 3, 2007). "Taking a Hit: Asteroid Impacts
Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Astronomical Society of the Pacific (Podcast).
Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
^ Gault, Matthew (28 November 2013). "When Earth Dreamed of Nuking the
Moon". medium.com. War is Boring. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
^ Sagan, Carl (writer/host) (November 9, 1980). "The Backbone of
Night". Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. Episode 7. PBS.
^ Dicke, William (December 21, 1996). "Carl Sagan, an
Excelled at Popularizing Science, Is Dead at 62". The New York Times.
Retrieved August 31, 2013.
^ Davidson, p. 202
^ Davidson, p. 227
^ Davidson, p. 341
^ a b c d e Davidson, p. 203
^ Davidson, p. 204
^ a b Davidson, p. 297
^ Druyan, Ann (November 2000). "A New Sense of the Sacred Carl Sagan's
'Cosmic Connection'". The Humanist. Washington, D.C.: American
Humanist Association. 60 (6). Retrieved August 29, 2013.
^ "YouTube". www.youtube.com.
^ Spangenburg & Moser 2004, p. 106
^ Morris, Julian (2000). Rethinking Risk and the Precautionary
Principle. Butterworth-Heinemann. p. 116.
ISBN 978-0-08-051623-3. Extract of page 116
^ Women On War, Daniela Gioseffi.
^ Brewster, Melanie E. (2014). Atheists in America (reprinted ed.).
Columbia University Press. p. 102.
ISBN 978-0-231-53700-1. Extract of page 102
^ Maggio, Rosalie. How They Said it, Prentice-Hall Press (2000) p. 20
^ "Photo of Asimov and Sagan".
^ Dear Uncle Ezra, archived from the original on 2013-06-06, retrieved
^ Asimov, Isaac (1981) [Originally published 1980; Garden City, NY:
Doubleday]. In Joy Still Felt: The Autobiography of Isaac Asimov,
1954–1978. New York: Avon. pp. 217, 302.
ISBN 0-380-53025-2. LCCN 79003685. OCLC 7880716.
^ Sagan, Carl (1980) [Originally published 1979]. Broca's Brain:
Reflections on the Romance of Science (Reprint ed.). New York:
Ballantine Books. p. 330. ISBN 0-345-33689-5.
LCCN 78021810. OCLC 428008204.
^ "Quotes on Religion – Carl Sagan". Atheism.about.com. IAC.
Retrieved March 10, 2013.
^ Head 2006, p. 70
^ Schei, Kenneth A. (1996). An Atheist for Jesus. Synthesis.
^ Sagan, Carl; Druyan, Ann (1997). The Demon-Haunted World: Science as
a Candle in the Dark. Ballantine Books ISBN 0345409469
^ Head, Tom (1997). "Conversations with Carl". Skeptic. The Skeptics
Society. 13 (1): 32–38. Excerpted in Head 2006
^ Sagan, Carl (1997) [Originally published 1995]. The Demon-Haunted
World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (1st Ballantine Books ed.). New
York: Ballantine Books. p. 278. ISBN 0-345-40946-9.
LCCN 95034076. OCLC 36504316.
^ Tracy, David (1990). "Kenosis, Sunyata, and Trinity: A Dialogue with
Masao Abe". In Cobb, John B., Jr.; Ives, Christopher. The Emptying
God: A Buddhist-Jewish-Christian Conversation. Faith Meets Faith
Series. Essays by Masao Abe. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books. p. 52.
ISBN 0-883-44670-7. LCCN 90031442.
OCLC 318355646. [page verification needed]
^ edited by Lynn Margulis,
Dorion Sagan (2007). Dazzle Gradually:
Reflections on the
Nature of Nature. Chelsea Green Publishing.
p. 14. ISBN 1933392312. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors
^ Druyan, Ann (November–December 2003). "
Ann Druyan Talks About
Science, Religion, Wonder, Awe ... and Carl Sagan". Skeptical
Inquirer. Amherst, NY: Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. 27.6.
ISSN 0194-6730. Retrieved July 27, 2010.
^ Sagan, Carl (writer/host) (December 14, 1980). "Encyclopaedia
Galactica". Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. Episode 12. 01:24 minutes in.
^ Rawson, Hugh (2008). "Sagan's Standard". The Unwritten Laws of Life.
CSBC Ltd. Archived from the original on January 12, 2012. Retrieved
September 1, 2013.
^ Truzzi, Marcello (1978). "On the Extraordinary: An Attempt at
Clarification" (PDF). Zetetic Scholar. 1 (1): 11.
^ Truzzi, Marcello (1998). Binkowski, Edward, ed. "On Some Unfair
Practices towards Claims of the Paranormal". Oxymoron: Annual Thematic
Anthology of the Arts and Sciences. New York: Oxymoron Media, Inc. 2:
The Fringe. ISSN 1090-2236. OCLC 35240974. Retrieved
September 1, 2013.
^ Flournoy, Théodore (1983) [Originally published 1899; Geneva:
Édition Atar]. Des Indes à la Planète Mars: Étude sur un cas de
Somnambulisme avec Glossolalie [From India to the Planet Mars: A Study
of a Case of Somnambulism with Glossolalia] (in French). Introduction
by Hélène Boursinhac; translation by Daniel B. Vermilye (Reprint
ed.). Geneva: Éditions Slatkine. pp. 344–345.
ISBN 2-05-100499-4. OCLC 11558608.
^ Sagan 1980 (1985 ed.), p. 108
^ Grinspoon, Lester (1994) [2nd ed. published 1977; Cambridge, MA:
Harvard University Press]. Marihuana Reconsidered. New introduction by
author (2nd (reprint) ed.). Oakland, CA: Quick American Archives.
ISBN 0-932551-13-0. LCCN 77076767. OCLC 32410025.
^ Sagan, Carl. "Mr. X". Marijuana-Uses.com. Retrieved August 7,
^ Whitehouse, David (October 15, 1999). "Carl Sagan: A life in the
BBC News. BBC. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
^ Davidson, Keay (August 22, 1999). "
Billions and Billions of '60s
Flashbacks". The San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved May 2, 2007.
^ Larsen, Dana (November 1, 1999). "Carl Sagan: toking astronomer".
Cannabis Culture. Vancouver, B.C. Retrieved May 2, 2007.
^ "Foundation Board of Directors". NORML.org. Washington, D.C.: NORML
and the NORML Foundation. August 13, 2010. Archived from the original
on January 4, 2011. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
^ "Ann Druyan". NORML.org. Washington, D.C.: NORML and the NORML
Foundation. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
^ a b Poundstone 1999, p. 364
^ a b Linzmayer, Owen; Chaffin, Bryan (November 15, 2004). "This Week
in Apple History: November 14–20: McIntosh, IIe Killed, Butt-Head
Astronomer". The Mac Observer. The Mac Observer, Inc. Retrieved July
^ Sagan v. Apple Computer, Inc., 874 F.Supp. 1072 (USDC C.D. Cal.
1994), CV 94-2180 LGB (BRx); 1994 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20154.
^ a b Poundstone 1999, p. 374
^ Poundstone 1999, pp. 374–375
^ Sagan, Carl (2000) [Originally published 1973]. "'Hello, Central
Casting? Send Me Twenty Extraterrestrials'". Carl Sagan's Cosmic
Connection: An Extraterrestrial Perspective. Produced by Jerome Agel;
new contributions by Freeman Dyson, Ann Druyan, and David Morrison
(2nd ed.). Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press.
p. 183. ISBN 0-521-78303-8. LCCN 00020378.
^ a b Westrum, Ron (2000). "Limited Access: Six Natural Scientists and
the UFO Phenomenon". In Jacobs, David M. UFOs and Abductions:
Challenging the Borders of Knowledge. Lawrence, KS: University Press
of Kansas. pp. 31–55. ISBN 0-7006-1032-4.
LCCN 00028970. OCLC 43615835.
^ Appelle, Stuart (2000). "Ufology and Academia: The UFO Phenomenon as
a Scholarly Discipline". In Jacobs, David M. UFOs and Abductions:
Challenging the Borders of Knowledge. Lawrence, KS: University Press
of Kansas. pp. 7–30. ISBN 0-7006-1032-4.
LCCN 00028970. OCLC 43615835.
^ Sagan 1995, pp. 81–96, 99–104
^ David Jacobs "The UFO Controversy In America" (1987), p.122-124
^ Quarles, Norma (December 20, 1996). "
Carl Sagan dies at 62". CNN.
Retrieved December 5, 2011. Sagan was a noted astronomer whose
lifelong passion was searching for intelligent life in the
Carl Sagan at Find a Grave
^ "Sagan Planet Walk". sciencenter.org. Ithaca, NY: Sciencenter.
Archived from the original on February 5, 2013. Retrieved March 10,
^ "Sagan Award for Public Understanding of Science". Council of
Scientific Society Presidents. Archived from the original on July 26,
2007. Retrieved May 2, 2007.
^ "The 2007 IIG Awards". IIG. Los Angeles: Independent Investigations
Group. August 18, 2007. Retrieved July 1, 2011.
^ Boswell, John (November 9, 2009). A Glorious Dawn (7-in (17.5 cm)
gramophone record). Nashville, TN: Third Man Records. Retrieved
September 3, 2013.
^ D'Orazio, Dante (30 November 2014). "Wonderful short film imagines
the day when we conquer the solar system". The Verge. Retrieved 19
^ David, Leonard (1 December 2014). "Epic Short Film 'Wanderers'
Envisions Humanity's Future in Space". Space.com. Retrieved 21
^ "Latest News -
Nightwish – The Official Website".
^ "WARNER BROS. HEADS TO THE COSMOS WITH CARL SAGAN BIOPIC", Tracking
Board, August 17, 2015
^ "From the AHA archives: Carl Sagan's 1981 Humanist of the year
speech". americanhumanist.org. Archived from the original on December
26, 2014. Retrieved December 25, 2014.
American Philosophical Society
American Philosophical Society Member History". Philadelphia, PA:
American Philosophical Society. Archived from the original on November
13, 2013. Retrieved September 3, 2013.
^ Shore, Lys Ann (1987). "Controversies in Science and Fringe Science:
From Animals and
SETI to Quackery and SHC". The Skeptical Inquirer. 12
^ Karr, Barry (1994). "Five Honored with CSICOP Awards". Skeptical
Inquirer. 18 (5): 461–462.
^ "John F. Kennedy Astronautics Award". Springfield, VA: American
Astronautical Society. Retrieved September 3, 2013.
^ "The John W. Campbell Memorial Award". Lawrence, KS: Center for the
Study of Science Fiction. Retrieved September 3, 2013.
Carl Sagan - 1975". The
Joseph Priestley Award. Dickinson
University. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
^ "Public Welfare Medal". Washington, D.C.: National Academy of
Sciences. Archived from the original on August 9, 2013. Retrieved
February 18, 2011.
^ Mascarenhas, Rohan (May 3, 2009). "2009 New Jersey Hall of Fame
inductees welcomed at NJPAC". The Star-Ledger. Newark, NJ: Advance
Publications. Retrieved September 3, 2013.
^ "CSICOP becomes CSI after thirty years". Committee for Skeptical
Inquiry. Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. 20 November 2006. Archived
from the original on 15 August 2009.
^ "The Pantheon of Skeptics". CSI. Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.
Archived from the original on 31 January 2017. Retrieved 30 April
Terzian, Yervant; Bilson, Elizabeth, eds. (1997). Carl Sagan's
Universe. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press.
ISBN 0-521-57603-2. LCCN 96040511. OCLC 36130681.
Achenbach, Joel (1999). Captured by Aliens: The Search for Life and
Truth in a Very Large Universe. New York: Simon & Schuster.
ISBN 0-684-84856-2. LCCN 99037592. OCLC 41606346.
Davidson, Keay (1999). Carl Sagan: A Life. New York: John Wiley &
Sons. ISBN 0-471-25286-7. LCCN 99036206.
Poundstone, William (1999). Carl Sagan: A Life in the Cosmos. New
York: Henry Holt and Company. ISBN 0-8050-5766-8.
LCCN 99014615. OCLC 40979822.
Spangenburg, Ray; Moser, Kit (2004). Carl Sagan: A Biography.
Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-313-32265-1.
LCCN 2004015176. OCLC 55846272.
Head, Tom, ed. (2006). Conversations with
Carl Sagan (1st ed.).
Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 1-57806-736-7.
LCCN 2005048747. OCLC 60375648.
Morrison, David (2006). "Carl Sagan: The People's Astronomer".
AmeriQuests. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University. 3 (2).
doi:10.15695/amqst.v3i2.84. ISSN 1553-4316. Archived from the
original on January 14, 2015. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
Find more aboutCarl Saganat's sister projects
Definitions from Wiktionary
Media from Wikimedia Commons
Quotations from Wikiquote
Texts from Wikisource
Carl Sagan Portal
Carl Sagan (1934-1996) Biographical memories
Sagan interviewed by Ted Turner, CNN, 1989, video: 44 minutes.
BBC Radio program "Great Lives" on Carl Sagan's life
"A man whose time has come"—Interview with
Carl Sagan by Ian
Ridpath, New Scientist, July 4, 1974
Carl Sagan on IMDb
Works by or about
Carl Sagan in libraries (
"Carl Sagan's Life and Legacy as Scientist, Teacher, and Skeptic", by
David Morrison, Committee for Skeptical Inquiry
"A Tribute to Carl Sagan: Our Place in the Universe", by Bill Nye, The
FBI Records: The Vault -
Carl Sagan at fbi.gov
NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) 19630011050: Direct Contact
Among Galactic Civilizations by Relativistic Interstellar
Spaceflight", Carl Sagan, when he was at Stanford University, in 1962,
produced a controversial paper funded by a
NASA research grant that
concludes ancient alien intervention may have sparked human
Faint young Sun paradox
Voyager Golden Record
Voyager Golden Record (Contents)
Voyager Family Portrait
Pale Blue Dot
The Planetary Society
Search for extraterrestrial intelligence
Search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI)
Mars and the Mind of Man (1971)
The Cosmic Connection: An Extraterrestrial Perspective (1973)
The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human
Murmurs of Earth: The Voyager Interstellar Record (1978)
Broca's Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science (1979)
The Nuclear Winter: The World After Nuclear War (1983)
The Cold and the Dark: The World after Nuclear War (1984)
A Path Where No Man Thought: Nuclear Winter and the End of the Arms
Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors: A Search for Who We Are (1993)
Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space (1994)
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (1995)
Billions and Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the
The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search
Cosmos: A Personal Voyage (1980 TV series)
Universe and Everything Else (1988)
Contact (1997 film)
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (2014 TV series)
Wanderers (2014 film narration)
Lynn Margulis (first wife)
Dorion Sagan (son)
Jeremy Sagan (son)
Linda Salzman Sagan (second wife)
Nick Sagan (son)
Ann Druyan (third wife)
Carl Sagan Memorial Award
Carl Sagan Medal
Carl Sagan Award for Public Appreciation of Science
Carl Sagan Prize for Science Popularization
Carl Sagan Institute
Sagan Planet Walk
Carl Sagan Memorial Station
Pale Blue Dot: A Tribute to Carl Sagan
Symphony of Science
The Sagan series
900 Stewart Avenue
Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction (1976–2000)
Why Survive? Being Old in America by
Robert Neil Butler
Robert Neil Butler (1976)
Beautiful Swimmers by
William W. Warner (1977)
The Dragons of Eden
The Dragons of Eden by
Carl Sagan (1978)
Nature by Edward O. Wilson (1979)
Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter
Fin-de-siècle Vienna by Carl E. Schorske (1981)
The Soul of a New Machine
The Soul of a New Machine by
Tracy Kidder (1982)
Is There No Place on Earth for Me? by
Susan Sheehan (1983)
The Social Transformation of American Medicine by
Paul Starr (1984)
The Good War
The Good War by
Studs Terkel (1985)
Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American
J. Anthony Lukas /
Move Your Shadow by Joseph Lelyveld
Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land by David K. Shipler
The Making of the Atomic Bomb
The Making of the Atomic Bomb by
Richard Rhodes (1988)
A Bright Shining Lie
A Bright Shining Lie by
Neil Sheehan (1989)
And Their Children After Them by
Dale Maharidge and Michael Williamson
The Ants by
Bert Hölldobler and Edward O. Wilson (1991)
The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power by Daniel Yergin
Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America by Garry Wills
Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire by David Remnick
The Beak of the Finch: A Story Of Evolution In Our Time by Jonathan
The Haunted Land: Facing Europe's Ghosts After Communism by Tina
Ashes to Ashes: America's Hundred-Year Cigarette War, the Public
Health, and the Unabashed Triumph of Philip Morris by Richard Kluger
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond
Annals of the Former World
Annals of the Former World by
John McPhee (1999)
Embracing Defeat by
John W. Dower (2000)
The Planetary Society
Living Interplanetary Flight Experiment
Planetary Radio (guests)
Bruce C. Murray
Criticism of religion
Latter Day Saint movement
Westboro Baptist Church
Twelver Shia Islam
New religious movement
Mormon sacred texts
Book of Mormon
Charles Taze Russell
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
Christian thought on persecution and tolerance
Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon
God in the Age of Science?
God Is Not Great
God: The Failed Hypothesis
Letter to a Christian Nation
The Age of Reason
The Blind Watchmaker
The Caged Virgin
The End of Faith
The Rage Against God
Why I Am Not a Christian
Why I Am Not a Muslim
Books critical of Christianity
Books critical of Islam
Criticism of atheism
ISNI: 0000 0001 2128 2295
BNF: cb12375841d (data)