Wednesday, March 21, 2012 | Categories: Rewind on SiriusXM 169 |
Today on the show, a feature interview with Carl Sagan.
Sagan was an astronomer who become one of the first pop scientists. Through his books and on television, he brought science to the masses. From the late 60's through to the 90's, he was a powerful media personality.
But Sagan was also a serious scientist. He worked with NASA starting in the 1950's. He was a professor at Cornell for over two decades. He discovered much of what we know about the atmospheres of Venus, Jupiter and Saturn. He advocated the scientific search for extra-terrestrial life.
Through his media appearances, Sagan popularized the terms global warming, nuclear winter and the idea that the destiny of the planet was in our hands.
His list of accolades is long and includes twenty-two honorary degrees, a Pulitzer Prize and an asteroid named in his honour.
The interview we have today is from August 1987. Sagan's career was at its peak. His TV series, Cosmos was a huge success, winning Emmy and Peabody awards. He had just published his novel, Contact, which would be made into a movie with Jodie Foster.
The interviewer is Vicki Gabereau. She guides Sagan through a wide range of topics. You'll hear Sagan's criticism of the 80's arms race. He calls it a "fool's bargain." He laments the outlandish sums of money being spent on the so-called Star Wars defence plan. And he ponders what colour God might be.