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About Carl Sagan
Carl Sagan was Professor of Astronomy and Space Sciences and Director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies at Cornell University. He played a leading role in the Mariner, Viking, and Voyager spacecraft expeditions to the planets, for which he received the NASA medals for Exceptional Scientific Achievement. Dr. Sagan received the Pulitzer Prize and the highest awards of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation, and many other awards, for his contributions to science, literature, education, and the preservation of the environment. His book Cosmos (accompanying his Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning television series of the same name) was the bestselling science book ever published in the English language, and his bestselling novel, Contact, was turned into a major motion picture.
Photo by NASA/JPL [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
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“A glorious book . . . A spirited defense of science . . . From the first page to the last, this book is a manifesto for clear thought.”—Los Angeles Times
How can we make intelligent decisions about our increasingly technology-driven lives if we don’t understand the difference between the myths of pseudoscience and the testable hypotheses of science? Pulitzer Prize-winning author and distinguished astronomer Carl Sagan argues that scientific thinking is critical not only to the pursuit of truth but to the very well-being of our democratic institutions.
Casting a wide net through history and culture, Sagan examines and authoritatively debunks such celebrated fallacies of the past as witchcraft, faith healing, demons, and UFOs. And yet, disturbingly, in today's so-called information age, pseudoscience is burgeoning with stories of alien abduction, channeling past lives, and communal hallucinations commanding growing attention and respect. As Sagan demonstrates with lucid eloquence, the siren song of unreason is not just a cultural wrong turn but a dangerous plunge into darkness that threatens our most basic freedoms.
Praise for The Demon-Haunted World
“Powerful . . . A stirring defense of informed rationality. . . Rich in surprising information and beautiful writing.”—The Washington Post Book World
“A clear vision of what good science means and why it makes a difference. . . . A testimonial to the power of science and a warning of the dangers of unrestrained credulity.”—The Sciences
“Passionate.”—San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle
Cosmos is one of the bestselling science books of all time. In clear-eyed prose, Sagan reveals a jewel-like blue world inhabited by a life form that is just beginning to discover its own identity and to venture into the vast ocean of space. Cosmos retraces the fourteen billion years of cosmic evolution that have transformed matter into consciousness, exploring such topics as the origin of life, the human brain, Egyptian hieroglyphics, spacecraft missions, the death of the Sun, the evolution of galaxies, and the forces and individuals who helped to shape modern science.
Praise for Cosmos
“Magnificent . . . With a lyrical literary style, and a range that touches almost all aspects of human knowledge, Cosmos often seems too good to be true.”—The Plain Dealer
“Sagan is an astronomer with one eye on the stars, another on history, and a third—his mind’s—on the human condition.”—Newsday
“Brilliant in its scope and provocative in its suggestions . . . shimmers with a sense of wonder.”—The Miami Herald
“Sagan dazzles the mind with the miracle of our survival, framed by the stately galaxies of space.”—Cosmopolitan
“Enticing . . . iridescent . . . imaginatively illustrated.”—The New York Times Book Review
NOTE: This edition does not include images.
In December of 1999, a multinational team journeys out to the stars, to the most awesome encounter in human history. Who—or what—is out there? In Cosmos, Carl Sagan explained the universe. In Contact, he predicts its future—and our own.
Dr. Carl Sagan takes us on a great reading adventure, offering his vivid and startling insight into the brain of man and beast, the origin of human intelligence, the function of our most haunting legends—and their amazing links to recent discoveries.
“How can I persuade every intelligent person to read this important and elegant book? . . . He talks about all kinds of things: the why of the pain of human childbirth . . . the reason for sleeping and dreaming . . . chimpanzees taught to communicate in deaf and dumb language . . . the definition of death . . . cloning . . . computers . . . intelligent life on other planets. . . . Fascinating . . . delightful.”—The Boston Globe
“In some lost Eden where dragons ruled, the foundations of our intelligence were laid. . . . Carl Sagan takes us on a guided tour of that lost land. . . . Fascinating . . . entertaining . . . masterful.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
In Cosmos, the late astronomer Carl Sagan cast his gaze over the magnificent mystery of the Universe and made it accessible to millions of people around the world. Now in this stunning sequel, Carl Sagan completes his revolutionary journey through space and time.
Future generations will look back on our epoch as the time when the human race finally broke into a radically new frontier—space. In Pale Blue Dot, Sagan traces the spellbinding history of our launch into the cosmos and assesses the future that looms before us as we move out into our own solar system and on to distant galaxies beyond. The exploration and eventual settlement of other worlds is neither a fantasy nor luxury, insists Sagan, but rather a necessary condition for the survival of the human race.
“Takes readers far beyond Cosmos . . . Sagan sees humanity’s future in the stars.”—Chicago Tribune
“A stunningly valuable legacy left to all of us by a great human being. I miss him so.” —Kurt Vonnegut
Carl Sagan's prophetic vision of the tragic resurgence of fundamentalism and the hope-filled potential of the next great development in human spirituality
The late great astronomer and astrophysicist describes his personal search to understand the nature of the sacred in the vastness of the cosmos. Exhibiting a breadth of intellect nothing short of astounding, Sagan presents his views on a wide range of topics, including the likelihood of intelligent life on other planets, creationism and so-called intelligent design, and a new concept of science as "informed worship." Originally presented at the centennial celebration of the famous Gifford Lectures in Scotland in 1985 but never published, this book offers a unique encounter with one of the most remarkable minds of the twentieth century.
These luminous, entertaining essays travel both the vastness of the cosmos and the intimacy of the human mind, posing such fascinating questions as how did the universe originate and how will it end, and how can we meld science and compassion to meet the challenges of the coming century? Here, too, is a rare, private glimpse of Sagan’s thoughts about love, death, and God as he struggled with fatal disease.
Ever forward-looking and vibrant with the sparkle of his unquenchable curiosity, Billions & Billions is a testament to one of the great scientific minds of our day.
Praise for Billions & Billions
“[Sagan’s] writing brims with optimism, clarity and compassion.”—Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel
“Sagan used the spotlight of his fame to illuminate the abyss into which stupidity, greed, and the lust for power may yet dump us. All of those interests and causes are handsomely represented in Billions & Billions.”—The Washington Post Book World
“Astronomer Carl Sagan didn’t live to see the millennium, but he probably has done more than any other popular scientist to prepare us for its arrival.”—Atlanta Journal & Constitution
“Billions & Billions can be interpreted as the Silent Spring for the current generation. . . . Human history includes a number of leaders with great minds who gave us theories about our universe and origins that ran contrary to religious dogma. Galileo determined that the Earth revolved around the Sun, not the other way around. Darwin challenged Creationism with his Evolution of Species. And now, Sagan has given the world its latest challenge: Billions & Billions.”—San Antonio Express-News
“[Sagan’s] inspiration and boundless curiosity live on in the gift of his work.”—Seattle Times & Post-Intelligencer
“Couldn’t stay awake in your high school science classes? This book can help fill in the holes. Acclaimed scientist Carl Sagan combines his logic and knowledge with wit and humor to make a potentially dry subject enjoyable to read.”—The Dallas Morning News
World renowned scientist Carl Sagan and acclaimed author Ann Druyan have written a Roots for the human species, a lucid and riveting account of how humans got to be the way we are. Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors is a thrilling saga that starts with the origin of the Earth. It shows with humor and drama that many of our key traits—self-awareness, technology, family ties, submission to authority, hatred for those a little different from ourselves, reason, and ethics—are rooted in the deep past, and illuminated by our kinship with other animals.
Sagan and Druyan conduct a breathtaking journey through space and time, zeroing in on critical turning points in evolutionary history, and tracing the origins of sex, altruism, violence, rape, and dominance. Their book culminates in a stunningly original examination of the connection between primate and human traits. Astonishing in its scope, brilliant in its insights, and an absolutely compelling read, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors is a triumph of popular science.
¿Estamos al borde de una nueva edad oscura de irracionalismo y superstición? En este libro conmovedor, el incomparable Carl Sagan demuestra con brillantez que el pensamiento científico es necesario para salvaguardar nuestras instituciones democráticas y nuestra civilización técnica. El mundo y sus demonios es el libro más personal de Sagan, y está lleno de historias humanas entrañables y reveladoras. El autor, con las experiencias de su propia infancia y la apasionante historia de los descubrimientos de la ciencia, muestra cómo el método del pensamiento racional puede superar prejuicios y supersticiones para dejar al descubierto la verdad, que, con frecuencia, resulta sorprendente.
“Magnificent . . . Delightful . . . A masterpiece. A message of tremendous hope for humanity . . . While ever conscious that human folly can terminate man’s march into the future, Sagan nonetheless paints for us a mind-boggling future: intelligent robots, the discovery of extraterrestrial life and its consequences, and above all the challenge and pursuit of the mystery of the universe.”—Chicago Tribune
“Go out and buy this book, because Carl Sagan is not only one of the world’s most respected scientists, he’s a great writer. . . . I can give a book no greater accolade than to say I’m planning on reading it again. And again. And again.”—The Miami Herald
“The brilliant astronomer . . . is persuasive, provocative and readable.”—United Press International
“Closely reasoned, impeccably researched, gently humorous, utterly devastating.”—The Washington Post
Comet begins with a breathtaking journey through space astride a comet. Pulitzer Prize-winning astronomer Carl Sagan, author of Cosmos and Contact, and writer Ann Druyan explore the origin, nature, and future of comets, and the exotic myths and portents attached to them. The authors show how comets have spurred some of the great discoveries in the history of science and raise intriguing questions about these brilliant visitors from the interstellar dark.
Were the fates of the dinosaurs and the origins of humans tied to the wanderings of a comet? Are comets the building blocks from which worlds are formed?
Lavishly illustrated with photographs and specially commissioned full-color paintings, Comet is an enthralling adventure, indispensable for anyone who has ever gazed up at the heavens and wondered why.
Praise for Comet
"Simply the best." —The Times of London
"Fascinating, evocative, inspiring." —The Washington Post
"Comet humanizes science. A beautiful, interesting book." —United Press International
"Masterful . . . science, poetry, and imagination." —The Atlanta Journal & Constitution
Contacto es la única novela escrita por el astrónomo estadounidense Carl Sagan, uno de los mayores divulgadores científicos del siglo XX.
Tras cinco años de incesantes búsquedas con los dispositivos más sofisticados del momento, la astrónoma Eleanor Arroway consigue, junto a un equipo de científicos internacionales, conectar con la estrella Vega y demostrar que no estamos solos en el universo.
Empieza entonces un trepidante viaje hacia el encuentro más esperado de la historia de la humanidad, y con él Carl Sagan plantea magistralmente cómo afectaría a nuestra sociedad la recepción de mensajes de una civilización inteligente.
Contacto, Premio Locus 1986, desarrolla una de las constantes en la trayectoria del autor: la búsqueda de inteligencia extraterrestre y la comunicación con ella a través de sondas espaciales. En 1997, el director de cine Robert Zemeckisllevóesta historia a la gran pantalla, en una película protagonizada por Jodie Foster y Matthew McConaughey.