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Carl Sagan: A Biography

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The American astronomer Carl Sagan (1934-1996) was one of the best-known scientists of his time. A prolific writer and television personality, he was creator and host of Cosmos, an enormously popular television series that explained the wonders and intricacies of astronomy to millions of television viewers. Gifted with the ability to communicate difficult scientific concep The American astronomer Carl Sagan (1934-1996) was one of the best-known scientists of his time. A prolific writer and television personality, he was creator and host of Cosmos, an enormously popular television series that explained the wonders and intricacies of astronomy to millions of television viewers. Gifted with the ability to communicate difficult scientific concepts to the average person, Sagan opened up the wonders of science to hundreds of thousands more through his many books and magazine articles. But in addition to his talents as a science popularizer, Sagan was a first-rate scientist. Ever persistent in exploring the possibility of life on other planets in the Universe, he was a pioneer in the field now known as astrobiology, a major thrust of NASA's current planetary explorations This book takes a fascinating look at all aspects of the life of Carl Sagan: Sagan the working scientist, who was an inspired and creative participant in the forefront of the new and exciting era of astronomy opened up by the technological breakthroughs of the space age; Sagan the advocate for science, who could expound on the beauties and joys of science as well as point out the follies and foibles of pseudoscience; and Sagan the activist, who helped raise our awareness to the perils of the Nuclear Age that threatened all of us. Following the arc of Sagan's personal and professional life, this book examines both the man and the provocative ideas he brought to this new era, always seeking to capture the infectious enthusiasm and love of communication that infused Carl Sagan's life and work.


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The American astronomer Carl Sagan (1934-1996) was one of the best-known scientists of his time. A prolific writer and television personality, he was creator and host of Cosmos, an enormously popular television series that explained the wonders and intricacies of astronomy to millions of television viewers. Gifted with the ability to communicate difficult scientific concep The American astronomer Carl Sagan (1934-1996) was one of the best-known scientists of his time. A prolific writer and television personality, he was creator and host of Cosmos, an enormously popular television series that explained the wonders and intricacies of astronomy to millions of television viewers. Gifted with the ability to communicate difficult scientific concepts to the average person, Sagan opened up the wonders of science to hundreds of thousands more through his many books and magazine articles. But in addition to his talents as a science popularizer, Sagan was a first-rate scientist. Ever persistent in exploring the possibility of life on other planets in the Universe, he was a pioneer in the field now known as astrobiology, a major thrust of NASA's current planetary explorations This book takes a fascinating look at all aspects of the life of Carl Sagan: Sagan the working scientist, who was an inspired and creative participant in the forefront of the new and exciting era of astronomy opened up by the technological breakthroughs of the space age; Sagan the advocate for science, who could expound on the beauties and joys of science as well as point out the follies and foibles of pseudoscience; and Sagan the activist, who helped raise our awareness to the perils of the Nuclear Age that threatened all of us. Following the arc of Sagan's personal and professional life, this book examines both the man and the provocative ideas he brought to this new era, always seeking to capture the infectious enthusiasm and love of communication that infused Carl Sagan's life and work.

30 review for Carl Sagan: A Biography

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sheli Ellsworth

    Spangenburg and Moser’s review of Sagan’s life is an excellent balance between the scientific and the celebrity aspect of his life. It is a readable review of 20th century science and Sagan’s confluence with it. Spangenburg and Moser factor in the influence of Sagan’s personality and his private life on his success and failures which makes it more readable than many historical perspectives. This biography reminds us of some of the most important scientific discoveries of the last century in phys Spangenburg and Moser’s review of Sagan’s life is an excellent balance between the scientific and the celebrity aspect of his life. It is a readable review of 20th century science and Sagan’s confluence with it. Spangenburg and Moser factor in the influence of Sagan’s personality and his private life on his success and failures which makes it more readable than many historical perspectives. This biography reminds us of some of the most important scientific discoveries of the last century in physics, biology and astronomy and how they collide to influence Sagan’s curiosity. From the discoveries of Urey and Miller, Crick and Watson to the imagination of Isaac Asimov, Sagan’s mind was an amalgam of ideas and possibilities. The influence of Sagan’s ideas on the space program and his enthusiasm about life in the galaxy defines how several generations view the cosmos. It follows Sagan’s fascination with the space program from the first Mariner mission in 1962 until Viking 2 in 1976. His genuine belief in the scientific process above his own ego paved the way for many emerging scientists. The book chronicles his metamorphosis from theorist/exobiologist to physicist/skeptic in an honest account of his life. It handles scientific aspects of Sagan’s life basically enough that non-scientific readers can learn and appreciate.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Brenna Bruce

    I loved this book! Despite being a non-fiction biography, it was incredibly interesting with great writing. It went into depth about his life and career, as well as science. It was an educational, enjoyable, and emotional read; I 100% recommend.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Anders Franklin

    Short and easy read. I wouldn't call it engaging, but I did not expect as much from a biography, so I am not disappointed in that regard. *SPOILER WARNING* He dies in the end. Short and easy read. I wouldn't call it engaging, but I did not expect as much from a biography, so I am not disappointed in that regard. *SPOILER WARNING* He dies in the end.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Damion Hankejh

    My first Kindle-for-iPhone read... loving it (and the Kindle app).

  5. 5 out of 5

    Peter

  6. 4 out of 5

    Louise Ware

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nina Sousa santos

  8. 4 out of 5

    Shannon Entropy

  9. 5 out of 5

    Matt

  10. 4 out of 5

    Antonio Vuković

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nirnaya

  12. 4 out of 5

    Katrina Molyneux

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rohit Singh

  14. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

  15. 5 out of 5

    Susan

  16. 4 out of 5

    Faya Jacob

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jan

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mohamed Radwan

  19. 4 out of 5

    Erlend

  20. 4 out of 5

    Elisabeth

  21. 4 out of 5

    Akio

  22. 5 out of 5

    Blaine Lashbrook

  23. 5 out of 5

    Camille Ibarra

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

  25. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  27. 4 out of 5

    Trevor Owens

  28. 4 out of 5

    Justin Morrison

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alan Meigs

  30. 4 out of 5

    Adriana

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