Carl Sagan (1934-1996) was an American astronomer, cosmologist, author and the coolest nerd ever. He was famous for making science accessible to anyone with half a brain. His 1980 documentary series, Cosmos, inspired a whole generation of people and I think it’s the greatest television series ever made. I only watched it for the first time five years ago (I wish I saw it when I was 14 instead of 24), but since then I’ve devoured all of Sagan’s books and watched Cosmos again about a thousand times. His work explained so much to me: the history of the cosmos, evolution, civilisation, the beauty of science, the perils of superstition and pseudoscience, the origin of religion – basically life, the universe and everything. Carl Sagan was the teacher I never had.
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