Just over 17 years ago, one of the most respected pillars of the science world, Carl Sagan gave an interview to newsman Charlie Rose. Sagan was best known to the public for his very popular television series, Cosmos, where he explored the mysteries and science relating to the universe around us. It covered a wide range of scientific subjects, including the origins of life and a perspective of our place in the galaxies.
Sagan's show made us think, to probe the questions plaguing us and to look at the future through science. Cosmos was then and still is today, the most widely watched TV series ever on PBS, viewed collectively by over 500 million people in over 60 countries.
Even today, his name has quite a bit of cache as so much of what he projected for the future and spoke about has come true. Below is that very poignant and timely (today) caution about heeding science and education or becoming a victim of it. He's both optimistic and skeptical. In under two decades since his passing, less than a year after this interview, you can see how right on the mark he was with his projections that the Republican doctines would be harmful to our future growth and understanding of how to achieve a viable future.
Think about drones, the NSA spying, the EPA, global warming, education funding and most of all, the uprising of the clueless masses (today known as the Tea Party). Though these didn't exist when Sagan spoke out about them, the dangers they present are foreshadowed accurately -- and look at us now. Maybe it's better late than never that we consider his sage words.
What we're dealing with is, as the title of Sagan's most famous book foreshadows, Billions and Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium. The new millennium is here. And what Sagan projected then is so real today. It's scary and hopeful at the same time.