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23. Carl Sagan: Visionary Astronomer
Carl Sagan was possibly the most famous American
ever. He was an astronomer, scientist, author, cosmologist,
television host. His landmark show "Cosmos" was one
the first science shows to gain acceptance by
general public in the United States. Sagan challenged
to think about their place in the universe
no other person before him. Using the scientific
, Sagan challenged long-held beliefs about the genesis of
on earth. This he has done to the
scientific community, and to the anger of the
community. Many of Sagan's teachings contradict the creationist
of the beginning of life. He was also
in the search for life beyond the planet
, and participated in the only human message sent
space intended for an alien race.
in Brooklyn, New York on November 9, 1934.
interest in science began at an early age.
wrote and co-wrote 20 books, and had more
600 scientific research papers published. His most popular
was "Contact", which tells the story of first
with an intelligent alien species. The book was
into a movie in 1997 starring Jodie Foster.
book and movie angered many religious groups because
its message that human beings are not alone
Sagan earned his bachelor's and master's
in physics from the University of Chicago in
1950s. His scientific curiosity led him into developing
television series "Cosmos". It was one of the
watched science series, and has been recreated and
currently on the air. His work on the
project lives on today. The spacecraft is speeding
way through infinite space today with his message
greeting to whatever race of beings finds it.
died at the age of 62 from complications