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Carl Sagan

analytical Essay
1295 words
1295 words
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Carl Sagan is known as one of the most famous scientists of all time. He revolutionized how the world looked at space and the search for intelligent life beyond our planet. The author of many books, he is most known for Contact (which was adapted into a movie) and for the PBS documentary Cosmos. As one of America's most famous astronomers and science-fiction writers, Carl Sagan turned a life of science into one of the most critically successful scientific careers of the 20th century.

As a child, Sagan avidly read science-fiction novels from authors such as H.G. Wells and Edgar Rice Burroughs. Sagan "used to scour the entire library looking for anything that had to do with science, he was addicted to the subject at an early age" (Byman 5). This penchant for the sciences helped Sagan to excel at math and science in school, which eventually led him to major in astronomy in college.

Sagan's first experiences with writing came at the University of Chicago, where he received both his master's and his doctorate's degrees. These first encounters came in the form of scientific writings for professional journals, such as Icarus. His first scientific paper (which would later be reproduced in a Time-Life book, Planets) dealt with the theory that the surface of the planet Venus was very hot and dry, something that was not known to scientists at that time. Sagan began to gain recognition in his field and eventually became a full professor at Cornell, where he continued to publish many more scientific papers.

Sagan's first published novel was 1973's The Cosmic Connection, which dealt with the theories of extraterrestrial life outside of our solar system. "The Cosmic Connection sold well because Carl knew how to write about science with poetry and passion" (Cohen 47). Sagan then spent the next several years working on the Voyager space probes and Apollo missions that eventually led to his famous appearances on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. He soon became a household name with his television appearances and repeated catchphrases, such as "billions and billions."

Adding to his popularity, Sagan wrote The Dragons of Eden in 1977, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize. That same year, Sagan's popularity reached an all-time high. He narrated co-wrote and co-produced the highly popular thirteen part PBS television series: Cosmos: Personal Voyage, which was modeled on Jacob Bronowski's The Ascent of Man.

In this essay, the author

  • Describes carl sagan as one of the most famous scientists of all time. he revolutionized how the world looked at space and the search for intelligent life beyond our planet.
  • Explains that sagan avidly read science-fiction novels from h.g. wells and edgar rice burroughs. this penchant for the sciences helped him excel at math and science in school, which eventually led him to major in astronomy in college.
  • Explains that sagan's first experiences with writing came at the university of chicago, where he received both his master and doctorate degrees. his first scientific paper dealt with the theory that the surface of the planet venus was very hot and dry.
  • Explains that sagan's first published novel was the cosmic connection, which dealt with the theories of extraterrestrial life outside of our solar system.
  • Narrates how sagan won the pulitzer prize for the dragons of eden and co-produced cosmos: personal voyage, which was modeled on bronowski's the ascent of man.
  • Explains that sagan continued to act as the astronomy professor at cornell while contributing many papers to scientific journals and supplying his ideas to different nasa programs. his most famous novel, contact, was published in 1985.
  • Narrates how sagan lived a quiet life, married ann druyan in 1981, had two children, and was nominated for election to the national academy of sciences.
  • Explains that sagan was a science-fiction writer, journalist, and editor. his books dealt with the possibility of extraterrestrials making contact with earth, which brought up the ideas of advanced civilizations.
  • Analyzes how sagan was credited for popularizing science, defending democratic traditions, resisting nationalism, humanism, and arguing against geocentric views. he caused mixed reactions among other professional scientists.
  • Explains that sagan's gift for public speaking and relating to his audience made him one of the most admired scientific writers of our time.
  • Analyzes how sagan's third-person omniscient point-of-view gives an amazing overall perspective on subjects that are presented by many characters in his books.
  • Analyzes how sagan offers up agnostic and deeply religious views in contact. the heroine, ellie, believes that the major religions contradict each other left and right.
  • Opines that carl sagan was the best science educator of this century. he touched millions of people and inspired young generations to pursue the sciences.
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