When I was eight years old I discovered a section in my public library with science fiction. It changed my life and I have eagerly read science fiction and fantasy all my life. I also started a life long love affair with outer space. I kept hoping they would get a space program going and colonies on Mars so I could live there. I also discovered being a geek girl did not exactly make me popular with the football and cheerleader crowd that ran the high school.
When the series Cosmos came on television I watched it and was amazed that someone was actually talking about something I had been interested in all my life. Science had a new face in Carl Sagan and he made it understandable and popular. I got the book that went with the series. The book was able to expand on topics from the show. It became one of my favorite books.
One of the popular memes on Facebook is "You know you are booklover if the destruction of the library in Alexandria makes you sad." This probably says a lot about the number of other geeks on my friends list. Sagan talks about the library and the destruction of knowledge in a passionate way. I was able to connect with that passion because learning has always been a passion for me. I want to learn. That was something that set me apart from most of the high school kids I went to school with. They were there to have fun. The same for many of the college students I attended college with. For me school was a pleasure because I wanted to learn about so many things.
Cosmos spends a lot of pages on the history and the people who advanced science. I am a history buff and found that part of the book fascinating. It fed into my curiosity about how things work and how we discovered how things work. I learned a lot about teaching others from the way Sagan presented ideas. I was able to influence my niece who watched the show and she in turn influenced her children.
The main thing I got from Cosmos was that we are literally a part of the universe. We are made of star stuff. The section that touched me the most is "Who will speak for Earth." It appalls and saddens me that so many people are anti-science and want to promote ignorance. I can not understand why people aren't fighting to protect the Earth. It is the only home we have. That passion to fight for our home planet that Carl Sagan gave us in Cosmos is a lesson we need to learn. The science may be dated in parts as we learn more but that passion will always be there for me. That passion makes this book as relevant today as it was when it was written. I can only hope that Neil DeGrasse Tyson will be able to reach the young people with the remake of Cosmos starting next month. I want him to inspire and develop that passion for learning and science that Carl Sagan did for so many people.
Who speaks for Earth? It better be an informed people.