In 1973, Carl Sagan published The Cosmic Connection, a daring view of the universe, which rapidly became a classic work of popular science and inspired a generation of scientists and enthusiasts. This seminal work is reproduced here for a whole new generation to enjoy. In Sagan's typically lucid and lyrical style, he discusses many topics from astrophysics and solar system science, to colonization, terraforming and the search for extraterrestrials. Sagan conveys his own excitement and wonder, and relates the revelations of astronomy to the most profound human problems and concerns: issues that are just as valid today as they were thirty years ago. New to this edition are Freeman Dyson's comments on Sagan's vision and the importance of the work, Ann Druyan's assessment of Sagan's cultural significance as a champion of science, and David Morrison's discussion of the advances made since 1973 and what became of Sagan's predictions. Who knows what wonders this third millennium will reveal, but one thing is certain: Carl Sagan played a unique role in preparing us for them.
Foreword Freeman Dyson; Personal reflections Ann Druyan; Preface; Part I. Cosmic Perspective: 1. A transitional animal; 2. The Unicorn of Cetus; 3. A message from earth; 4. A message to earth; 5. Experiments in utopias; 6. Chauvinism; 7. Space exploration as a human enterprise I. The scientific interest; 8. Space exploration as a human enterprise II. The public interest; 9. Space exploration as a human enterprise III. The historical interest; Part II. The Solar System: 10. On teaching the first grade; 11. 'The ancient and legendary Gods of old'; 12. The Venus detective story; 13. Venus is hell; 14. Science and 'intelligence'; 15. The moons of Barsoom; 16. The mountains of Mars I. Observations from earth; 17. The mountains of Mars II. Observations from space; 18. The canals of Mars; 19. The lost pictures of Mars; 20. The Ice Age and the cauldron; 21. Beginnings and ends of the Earth; 22. Terraforming the plants; 23. The exploration and utlization of the solar system; Part III. Beyond the Solar System: 24. Some of my best friends are dolphins; 25. 'Hello, central casting? Send me twenty extraterrestrials'; 26. The cosmic connection; 27. Extraterrestrial life: an idea whose time has come; 28. Has the Earth been visited?; 29. A search strategy for detecting extraterrestrial intelligence; 30. If we succeed … ; 31. Cables, drums, and seashells; 32. The night freight to the stars; 33. Astroengineering; 34. Twenty questions: a classification of cosmic civilisations; 35. Galactic cultural exchanges; 36. A passage to elsewhere; 37. Starfolk I. A Fable; 38. Starfolk II. A future; 39. Starfolk III. The cosmic Cheshire cats; Epilog David Morrison; Index.
"Carl Sagan is a scientist of quality, who is also a writer of quality. [With] great intelligence, wit, and insight, The Cosmic Connection is a success on every level." Washington Post
"Sagan's gift for clear and stylish explanation is a delight." New Scientist
"A perfect opener for readers new to Sagan's work....this informative text illuminates how our perspective on earth's place in the universe has evolved in the last half-century. Sagan's witty text is still a standard for stargazers as well as a reflection of how far society has to go." Publishers Weekly