The Time-Traveler: Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan. Born in 1934. Died in 1996. Arguably, Sagan was everyone’s favorite scientist, working diligently to popularize science and make it accessible to the masses. He contributed much to science and technology, and created the Pioneer plaque and the Voyager Golden Record, messages to extraterrestrial life should they come across Pioneer 10, Pioneer 11, or Voyager 1 and wish to know where these spacecrafts came from. Astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author… and maybe a time-traveler?

In an article written for Science Alert’s site in January, it pointed out a revelation brought on by current events. In his book titled The Demon-Haunted World, Sagan predicts today’s status in the United States of America with frightening accuracy.

“I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time – when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; […] our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness...”

In a country where the term “fake news” is thrown around constantly, we can see how Carl Sagan had an intimate grasp on how the opinion of science and technology would develop, how many would lose the ability to make their own decisions and form their own opinions based on factual evidence researched meticulously.

I must say as a science enthusiast, I’m glad Carl Sagan did not live to see this world in which scientific facts are ignored over fictitious and inflammatory media, to see his work degraded by the uninformed.

Read more of Science Alert's article here.