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"Through his writings and television productions, he brought the excitement and challenges of scientific discovery into the homes of millions of families here and abroad." -- Hunter R. Rawlings III, President of Cornell University
  
CARL SAGAN




Carl Sagan was renowned for his ability to teach science to the masses.

Carl Sagan was an astronomer, educator and author. He popularized science, inspiring millions of Americans to open their minds to the wonders of the universe.

"Carl was a candle in the dark," Yervant Terzian, chairman of Cornell University's astronomy department said. "He was, quite simply, the best science educator in the world this century. He touched hundreds of millions of people and inspired young generations to pursue the sciences. He will be deeply missed by his colleagues and friends at Cornell and around the world."

Sagan's PBS series, Cosmos, became the most watched series in public-television history. It was seen by more than 500 million people in 60 countries. The accompanying book, Cosmos (1980) was on The New York Times bestseller list for 70 weeks and was the best-selling science book ever published in English.

Sagan was a major force in support not only of planetary exploration but also of the Earth's environment. His research focused on topics such as the greenhouse effect on Venus, windblown dust as an explanation for the seasonal changes on Mars, organic aerosols on Titan (Saturn's moon), the long-term environmental consequences of nuclear war and the origin of life on Earth.

An astronomy professor at Cornell University since 1968, Sagan received a bachelor's degree in 1955 and a master's degree in 1956, both in physics, and a doctorate in astronomy and astrophysics in 1960, from the University of Chicago. Among Sagan's numerous awards in literature, science and education, he was the recipient of the Public Welfare Medal, the highest award of the National Academy of Sciences. The award is given "for distinguished contributions in the application of science to the public welfare."

Sagan, the Professor of Astronomy and Space Sciences and director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies at Cornell University, died at age 62 on Dec. 20, 1996, in Seattle, Wash., after a two-year battle with a bone marrow disease. The cause of death was pneumonia. He continued to supervise undergraduate and graduate students at Cornell University and to do research during the months prior to his death.

"Through his writings and television productions, he brought the excitement and challenges of scientific discovery into the homes of millions of families here and abroad," said Cornell President Hunter R. Rawlings III. "We will sorely miss him, but his legacy÷will last for generations to come."

 

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