Let’s raise the bar and our cups to the stars

Galileo's Pendulum

Carl Sagan was not god.

Don’t get me wrong: I admire Sagan very much, both for his science and his outreach efforts. (Quick quiz: who knows what Dr. Sagan’s research was in? Sarah Hörst, you’re disqualified from answering.) I used a famous quote of his from Cosmos as a starting point for a recent piece in Nautilus and wrote a post in homage to him. I even subtitled my book-in-progressA Cosmological Journey in homage to the subtitle of Cosmos, which is A Personal Journey. However, I balk at the suggestion that nobody will ever live up to his example, or automatically dismiss the forthcoming Cosmos series starring Neil DeGrasse Tyson. (For more about the show, see Phil Plait’s recent blog post about talking with the creative team bringing it to Fox next year.)

I recently watched Cosmos — all 13 hours of it — and I’d…

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