Carl Sagan (1934 - 1996) was an American scientist on the fields of astronomy and astrophysics and a science promoter, much known for his TV series Cosmos and the book of the same name. He was famous for exobiology and for S.E.T.I. He also write a novel called Contact.
He was born in Brooklyn, New York. Sagan studied at the University of Chicago, where he received a bachelor's degree (1955) and a master's degree (1956) in physics, before earning his doctorate (1960) in astronomy and astrophysics. He taught at Harvard University until 1968, when he moved to Cornell University.
He worked for the NASA on Viking and Mariner robots. He made new discoveries about Venus and its atmosphere. He help to send a message for alien civilizations on the Viking.
Cosmos: He is most famous for his work on the TV series Cosmos. It was a program viewed by more than 600 million people in 60 countries. The TV series and the book treat themes like science, science divulgation, history of science, the origin of life, the skeptical point of view and our place in the universe. It is written for the non-specialist and is understandable by many people.
His scientific works were more than 600 papers about science and science divulgation. Examples of science divulgation and essays on science are:
- Pale Blue Dot: inspirated by a photography of the Earth took by one the NASA's probes that show the Earth as a pale blue dot, due to the great distance. It talks about many themes, including our place on the universe.
- The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence: won a Pulitzer Prize
- Broca's Brain
- Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors
- Comet: written with his wife Ann Druyan
- The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
- Billions and Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium,
- The Nuclear Winter: The World After Nuclear War
- Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence
- Intelligent Life in the Universe: written with Russian author I.S. Shklovskii
- Cosmic Connection: An Extraterrestrial Perspective
- Contact: Interestellar travel by means of a created wormhole.