Today is Carl Sagan Day!

Bet you didn’t know that. But it’s true. Here’s the Center for Inquiry promoting November 12, 2011 as “Carl Sagan Day”:

An all-day event at Broward College near Ft. Lauderdale, FL in celebration of the life and teachings of Carl Sagan, whose many books, television appearances (most notably Cosmos), and NASA projects influence a generation of thinkers. Speakers include NASA’s Dawn (Elliott) Martin and Reggie Hudson, JREF’s James “The Amazing” Randi, and Jeff Wagg from the Planetary Society. In addition there will be a fundraising dinner the night before, activities for kids of all ages, educational workshops and a post contest for kids K-12.

They’re after the youngins! If you’re a fundamentalist, hide the kids!

I once saw Carl Sagan give a talk at Cal Tech in Pasadena. This would have been in the late-1980s. Lines from the talk still linger with me, such as this one:

I don’t think with my gut!

 And:

Advertisers show a decided contempt for the American public, and, given the success of their advertising campaigns, that contempt would appear to be justified!

When the Cold War was still going on, I bought 50 cassette copies of a talk that Carl Sagan gave at the University of California at Santa Cruz and passed them out, missionary-style, to friends, relatives, strangers—whoever would take a copy from me. And—signs and wonders!—I see that the Santa Cruz talk has been downloaded by someone to YouTube.

So, happy Carl Sagan Day! Really. He was an admirable thinker and man; an Enlightenment intellectual; a role model for children and adults.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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1 Response to Today is Carl Sagan Day!

  1. IzaakMak says:

    Sagan was truly a great man, and I can think of no one more deserving!

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