“But we’re also capable of using our compassion and our intelligence, our technology and our wealth to make an abundant and meaningful life for every inhabitant of this planet; to enhance enormously our understanding of the universe, and to carry us… to the stars”.
~ Dr. Carl Sagan Cosmos episode 8, “Journeys in Space and Time”
In 1980 I remember my 8 year old self sitting down to watch this new show called “Cosmos”. My parents, themselves fascinated with science and space, snuggled me in between them. I was down for the quality parental time, but not so sure about some dude in polyester pretending to explore the universe on a fake spaceship.
All of a sudden, he sits in front of an apple pie and says “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch you must first invent the universe”.
That was it.
I was sunk. I sat motionless for that entire program, “The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean”. Hell through the entire SERIES I sat and watched without words, as 8 year old little girls
very rarely almost never do.
It wasn’t the SuperFriends or Bugs Bunny or Tom and Jerry or G Force… it was science man. And I ate it up with a spoon.
I heard things throughout that series like:
Space is filled with a network of wormholes
You might emerge somewhere else in space
Some when-else in time
The sky calls to us
If we do not destroy ourselves
We will one day venture to the stars
The Cosmos is full beyond measure of elegant truths
Of exquisite interrelationships
Of the awesome machinery of nature
It captured my imagination. It captured my soul. With a two million dollar budget, polyester pants, corduroy jackets, and turtlenecks… Carl Sagan changed my life forever. Causing me to think beyond my nose, to see the enormity and beauty of life instead of focusing inwards only. He inspired me in ways I’m still discovering today.
Thank you Mom and Dad for make an eight year old squirmy kid sit still for five minutes, just long enough to get snagged by star stuff. Thank you Carl Sagan for my love of science and the stars. Thank you for irrevocably changing my life.
Happy 78th Birthday #CarlSagan Thank you for saving my life.
Amy aka ScienceNerd