Carl Sagan Made Science Sexy; New “Cosmos” Is Bringing It Back


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Spring forward, everyone!

Yep. We may be losing an hour of sleep - but starting today you’ll get to see our cosmic morning star for more hours every day for the next several months. And tonight, after it's set, another cosmic thing you’ll get to see is Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.

What’s Cosmos? Glad you asked!

It’s this cool remake of a science series Carl Sagan (the American astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, this list goes on...) did back in the 80’s. Wait - can we please take a moment to appreciate the fact that Wikipedia lists among his descriptions “science popularizer”?

That title might sound absurd - but back in the 80’s (before dork-dom, dot-com, and general geek-ery were acknowledged as awesome traits) this was probably on par with star travel itself. There was no I.F.L.S. to popularize science, much less the handheld internet with which to read its chemistry memes. So the fact that Carl managed to make science sexy was pretty stellar.

Thus, the 13 part revamp of the original series seeks to build on this aim. “We’re treating this with the same philosophy Carl Sagan did with the original,” says Seth MacFarlane, the executive producer of the show.

And yes – that’s Family Guy MacFarlane. Interested yet? That philosophy, he describes, is: “I want to make this so entertaining and so flashy and so exciting that people with no interest in science will watch just because it’s a spectacle.”

With the CGI effects accompanied by a bombastic, emotional, and epic soundtrack in the trailer - it’s not likely to disappoint.

What’s more, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson also joins the creative crew. He says, "The goal is to convey why science matters to the person, to our society, to us as shepherds of this planet. It involves presenting science in ways that connect to you, so Cosmos can influence you not only intellectually but emotionally, with a celebration of wonder and awe,"

"Science should be part of everybody's life. The prerequisite is not that you become a scientist. It's that at the end of the series, you will embrace science and recognize its role in who and what you are,” he added.

Joining forces with Seth and Neil is Ann Druyan, Sagan’s widow and collaborator. She worked with Carl on the original Cosmos: A Personal Voyage with her husband. Now, she’s teamed up to help produce this upcoming re-imagining of Sagan’s scientific series. Druyan says, “We wanted to reach everyone because we believed that this knowledge is a birthright.” She added:

“It belongs to all of us."

Indeed - like this “pale blue dot” we inhabit - it belongs to all of us.

And, if you please, you can flip to watch Oprah interview someone else who's mastered the art of entertaining while educating: Russell Brand. Both shows come on at 9 ET, Russell airs on OWN, and Cosmos will be on FOX, National Geographic, and pretty much kajillion other channels. And don’t feel badly if you get stuck watching Mr. Brand and never change the channel back.

Or - faced with deciding between shows - you could always watch neither, phone a friend, connect with loved ones, finish reading Thus Spoke Zarathustra, walk the dog, and then just watch both things on the internet from your cubicle tomorrow.

Image via Youtube