Carl Sagan

Tag archives for Carl Sagan

´┐╝In 1977, NASA sent a pair of unmanned probes named Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 into space. Among the infrared spectrometers and radio receivers included on each probe were identical copies of the same non-scientific object: the Voyager Golden Record. Sheathed in a protective aluminum jacket, the Record is a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk containing…

In the mid-1970s, the U.S. State Department prohibited the internal use of the term “space colony,” due to the global bad reputation of colonialism. Instead, the government opted for “space settlement.” Of course, as Stewart Brand pointed out at the time, the last thing you do in space is settle. Quite the opposite! Making the…

Ed: This is an essay I wrote for my friends at the World Science Festival, riffing on the central themes of this years’ event. If you prefer, you can also read this piece on the World Science Festival site. And, if you’re in New York between the first and fifth of June, you could do…

SETI, Really?

As you may have heard, SETI is in trouble. Funding cutbacks on a state and federal level have forced the Allen Telescope Array — SETI’s new homebase, actually just a part of the U.C. Berkeley’s Hat Creek Radio Observatory (HCRO) — into indefinite hibernation. With U.C. Berkeley losing ninety percent of its NSF University Radio…

Very Large Tourism

The author, dishing. To get to the National Radio Telescope Observatory, you have to be committed. Well, first, you have to be in New Mexico — about an hour’s drive south of Albuquerque, in the plains of San Augustin, to be precise, a Pleistocene lakebed bordered by the northern end of the Chihuahuan Desert and…

Greetings from the People of Earth from World Science Festival on Vimeo. I made the above video, Greetings from the People of Earth, to open the World Science Festival 2010 panel “The Search for Life in the Universe,” which featured personal hero Jill Tarter, David Charbonneau, and Steven Squyres. In 1977, taking advantage of a…

Something From Nothing

Science, as a discipline, is driven by the desire to understand everything. The immensity of such a project necessitates that science be undertaken not by one group of men and women in one time, but all men and women for all time. However, the final goal always eludes us: to understand this, we must first…