Remembering Carl Sagan

by Nancy Atkinson on November 9, 2012

Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on Twitter

Today would have been Carl Sagan’s 78th birthday, and the past few years November 9th, the anniversary of his birth, has been designated as “Carl Sagan Day” by people who appreciate Sagan’s influence — not only on science, but also the public’s understanding of it. Sagan passed away 16 years ago, but his words and inspiration live on for many of us through his books and recordings.

Sagan was a co-founder of The Planetary Society, and this evening (Friday, Nov. 9, 2012) at 7 pm PST TPS will be webcasting a live event to commemorate Sagan’s life and influence. Click here for the webcast link, as well as additional information.

Below is part one of a 3 part series of Sagan’s final interview with Charlie Rose on May 27, 1996. He discussed science, pseudo-science, religion, and his struggle with the disease that ultimately ended his life, myelodysplasia.

If you have a favorite Sagan quote or memory, feel free to share it in the comments.


Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

Juan David Londoño November 9, 2012 at 4:01 PM

“I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But as much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking.” – Carl Sagan.

Adam Brinckerhoff November 9, 2012 at 4:43 PM

“I believe our future depends powerfully on how well we understand this
Cosmos in which we float like a mote of dust in the morning sky.”
- Carl Sagan

I agree with Carl, and I think that the best way for us to understand the Cosmos collectively is to get as many people involved in space exploration as possible. What do you think the best way to do that would be?

Adam Brinckerhoff
Development Engineer

Aqua4U November 9, 2012 at 5:56 PM

“…the best way to do that…” I think the best way to get people involved in space exploration would be to re-emphasize the historical benefits gained by explorers who took risks and accepted the challenges presented to them while traveling into the unknown…

“Life is a journey, not a destination.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same.
Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” – Don Williams Jr.

“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” – Greg Anderson

“Let your mind start a journey thru a strange new world. Leave all thoughts
of the world you knew before. Let your soul take you where you long to
be…Close your eyes let your spirit start to soar, and you’ll live as
you’ve never lived before.” – Erick Fromm

“To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping” – A Chinese proverb

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end” – Ursala K LeQuin

Alex Howlett November 9, 2012 at 8:21 PM

“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.”

Kevin Folta November 9, 2012 at 9:48 PM

“Somewhere something incredible is waiting to be known” — Carl Sagan

Evil Eye November 9, 2012 at 6:26 PM

“To bake an apple pie, you must first create the universe”.

Lord Haw-Haw. November 9, 2012 at 11:54 PM

On inexpensive paperback books: “For the price of a modest meal you get the history of Rome.” Dr. Carl Sagan in the Cosmos TV series.

Shahin Mohammadi November 10, 2012 at 8:51 AM

“A still more glorious dawn awaits” CS

Byron Leigh Hatch November 10, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Every time I read, watch or listen to Carl Sagan I am filled with renewed hope for humanity and a deeper wonder about this universe

Byron Leigh Hatch November 10, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Carl Sagan Astronomer 1934 – 1996
May his Humanity, his Eloquence, his Passion for Science and for Life – - Live forever

Gozlemci November 11, 2012 at 3:59 PM

Taking our attention to space, Carl Sagan, helped us
discover the importance of the Earth we live in…

spew November 12, 2012 at 4:48 PM

It’s good to know that he was in Boston holding that picture up. That building and that perspective is right off of cambridge st. on the plaza facing the boston city hall.

Robert Tollen November 17, 2012 at 5:29 AM

check out, I am a member since 1989.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: