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December 19, 2007

Comments

Le Vu Phuong Thuy

Dear Sir,

I am copyright officer at Nha Nam - a publisher from Vietnam. We'd like to publish Comos in our contry. Could you please let me know who we can contact about translation right?

Hope to hear from you.

Geysser

There are three people on this planet that defined my life, my way of thinking, my view of the Cosmos: Carl Sagan, Sir David Attenborough and Richard Dawkins. And Carl is the one I miss the most.

With love and admiration
An average John Doe from Greece

Randy Tetzner

Ann,
What a truly wonderful relationship you had with Carl and that it continues with your children and all of humanity. I hope your talents can reach out into stem cell research and autism. I have a child with autism and know others with autism in other parts of our world are mistreated instead of treated. I also hope for myself as my memory has been fading and my contributions such as my Disibilities Awareness Writing Contest (in my child's school district I started 6 years ago) and the memory of my 6 children are slipping away.

Thank you for your work with Carl.
Randy

Keri

While I can't say that my future was set into motion by Carl, recently having discovered Sagan's works certainly reaffirmed my destiny to the stars.

I witnessed the launch of STS-114 and caught the space bug. I always had been in love with weather, so it seemed a natural move to study space. Using some astronomy programs, I found Mars was overhead when I was born. It seems it was a bit of an omen. I'm currently a sophomore at Texas A&M University. I'm a meteorology major, but I am very lucky to have been taken under the wing of a professor here who works on the Mars Exploration Rovers, among other spacecraft. The opportunities he has given me continue to dumbfound me. I am lucky enough to study the atmosphere of Mars, combining my two favorite subjects. I'm gaining a big appreciation for the Earth itself though, thanks to Carl. I'll have a minor in Earth Sciences when I graduate.

Over the winter break, I sat down one evening, expecting to read the first chapter of Cosmos before sleeping. I ended up staying up the whole night reading it. The next day I read Pale Blue Dot. I keep buying more works off of eBay and read them as they come in. I was elated when they announced Cosmos would show on the Science Channel. My professor has the DVD set and is letting me borrow it when I see him later this week.

I can't describe the feelings I have to know that I'm helping to have Sagan's dream of exploration continue. The rovers he desperately wanted on Mars are finally there and while I'm on the lowest rung of this project, the pride of knowing that I can help the understanding of the cosmos is overwhelming.

I can honestly say that Cosmos was one of the most influential novels I have ever read. It is now one of my most prized possessions, joining the ranks of my copy of Roving Mars signed by Dr. Steve Squyres and my copy of The Case for Mars by Robert Zubrin.

My thoughts are with you!

Brooker

I have become Catholic recently. I have been feeling passionatly lately that God surely gave us our sense of wonder on purpose. Watching "Cosmos" makes me see the beauty in such a gift of wonder that God gave Carl Sagan. The beauty in the gift of wonder God gave me,and the gift of Carl Sagan for opening all the doors and windows.

John Druley

I am truly saddened that I didn't realize the greatness of Mr. Sagan's work till many years after his passing. I happen to be watching the Discovery channel and came across reruns of the cosmos series and was taken back by Mr. Sagan, what a great mind and what a loss his teachings are not more prevalent in our society. I am truly a new pupil and look forward to reading more of your works. Thank you Mr. Sagan and thank all of you who have kept his vision alive.

Jackie Lemmink

At the end or reading Billions and Billions I drew a heart and wrote Carl Sagan lives in me. He lives on. I often quote Carl when I am talking to my friends. My children know he has been my mentor in life. He will also be a mentor in theirs as I will pass the books I have read down to them. Because of Carl I steer my children towards science, thank you for that gift.

Lisa Rake

Dear Ann,
My partner bought me the Cosmos series on DVD last night and I have watched three episodes already. I was so moved by revisiting these amazing programs that I started weeping, remembering how, as a child, Carl Sagan inspired such wonder in me about the world in which we live, and the hope that humans could overcome their worldly differences and be united in awe and humility to contemplate and seek to understand the seemingly unfathomable nature of the universe. My father was a truck driver yet he encouraged me to pursue my love of science and he purchased the book Cosmos which I read voraciously, attempting to commit every concept I possibly could to memory! Rewatching the Cosmos series, I am taken back to my childhood and the love Carl Sagan inspired in me for the incredible world in which we live. His passion is a light burning brightly through time and, thanks to technology, his message, and yours, can continue to inspire others to look past the immediacy of their social environment and contemplate the mysteries of nature and the cosmos of which we are all a part. Thank you so much for giving so many people the opportunity to express their gratitude to you and Dr Sagan.

Rui Sequeira

Dear Ann,

I made "Contact" with Carl Sagan in the 80's viewing Cosmos every saturday on my TV.Impossible as it may seems i never read the book, although i've read Contact, Broca's Brain and Dragons of Eden in the subsquent years. Sometime later i've read them once again and then i realize.... So much of my personnality as been influenced by him. What i admire the most in Carl is his belief in Humankind and that we can all make this world a better place if only we put our minds to it.

Please accept my deepest thankfulness since i never got the chance to say this to Carl.

Thank You

Rui

Gaspar Galaz

Dear and and Family,

I live in Chile and I am an astronomer. Much of my interest on astronomy and physical sciences came from the extraordinary COSMOS, which I saw avidly when I was 15. I remember that I was absent from parties, meetings with friends, etc, just to not skeep any chapter of COSMOS. Profound traces remained forever in my with the chapter The Armony of worlds and the life of Kepler. So deeply it was that now I embrace astronomy and science itself. Without the work and passion of Carl, my life would probably taken other ways. I have been even envolved on the making of a scientific documentary here in Chile, about science made by young scientists in the Country. My childhood hero were Carl and Kepler!

Abrazos desde Chile y gracias por la oportunidad de al fin agradecer a Carl. The work and love of Carl for the Cosmos has been and will be transmitted for thousands of generations!

Jay B

I'm reluctant to give advertising to such claptrap, but a film called 'Zeitgeist' has been making the rounds among the conspiracy theorists, and it includes a clip from "Cosmos" that erroneously implies that Carl would be sympathetic to the filmmakers point of view. The paranoid loons behind 'Zeitgeist' have a pseudo 'event' scheduled for March 15, but perhaps a demurral from Ann Druyan might be in order. Just wanted to be sure you were aware of this (in my view) misappropriation of the words and likeness of the wonderful Carl Sagan.

Michael Aka Spaceman

Dear Ann, the inspiration left on me by Mr.Sagan is unlimitless. I help inspire our youth by giving Space presentations and I always picture Carl Sagan next to me. Even though I was raised in a very not so nice household, I still had the voice of Mr.Sagan deep in my mind inspiring me to succeed. Today his voice remains my inspiration and because of it I help inspire the public on all the joys and true Magic of Space and Astronomy. Again I thank you Mr.Sagan for helping me realize that there is truly something out there to look forward too. Your memory surely will be kept alive not only by me and my daughter but by the hundreds of individuals who attend my presentations. Amor por siempre and Godspeed.

Mike McDonald
Space researcher, educator

Russell Ligeikis

At one point I had all of Carl's books, but have loaned out almost all without getting them back. The only two I still have are "Cosmos" and "Murmurs Of Earth" - both books changed my Life in ways I cannot eloquently describe despite the fact that I am a writer, and "Murmurs" saved my life when I was once actively considering suicide (I had wanted, Desperately to become a Recombinant Engineer in hopes of finding a cure for Huntington's Disease, which I later learned was a misdiagnosis in my case - only to fail organic chemistry so miserably on the first try that I didn't try again).

As a former member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science I have always had and will always have a Deep Level interest in all of the Sciences, Arts and Humanities due in no small part to Carl's books.

It was because of the Rabid Enthusiasm he displayed in his books, Contact - the movie and mostly Cosmos that I was a member of and contributor to the Planetary Society for many years until financial hardship set in, and that I made my computers available to SETI until recent changes made it incompatible with Vista.

I remain hopeful that Warner Brothers will someday release the Contact interviews in audio form (since they can no longer be listened to on the web) for sale - the way Sounds Of Earth was eventually released to its intended audience (I found a copy years ago in the check-out line of my local Wal-Mart and was so excited by the discovery that I sold four more while waiting to check out. I urge others to join me in writing Warner Brothers as evidently there is no e-mail contact available.

edward church

The website I posted and the url is about war and trying a way to make peace. I am on face book.com trying to make peace because I have peace in me as a person. I had learn to have peace with in me once I had to for give my self from the problems I made and for those who are bitter I see in sight in people. that are in peace in there selfs
this is in every day people.

I had always looked at the stars and often wondered if there was such life that are at peace where there selfs more then it was with ppl always some of them being un happy with others
may be it all comes down to this what touches me about Carl Sagan ...cause he often wanted to know if there was life beyond us if there were people like us or in some form happier then we would ever aspect to be to be at peace wither selfs then what we see in us.

Mark Garth

I can thank ‘Cosmos’ for sparking my interest in Astronomy and so much more. Quite simply, Carl inspired me to think beyond my limitations. Keep up the good work.

Henrique Mohr

I wachted "Cosmos" for the first time just a few days ago, but their impact in my life and in my student activites was astonishing! Now i´m reading his last book, "The Demons-Haunted World". Every page of it is amazing! I love Carl Sagan and I, as each one of you, feel that he keeps spreading his knowledge even after the Earth travels 11 times after the sun without Carl, as says Ann Druyan in her preview post.
The last week, I bought a book about astronomy, due to the ideas that Carl Sagan spoke about in his works, who made science too wonderful to everyone that have a way to learn it. The words and ideas that he left for us inspire me to study the subjects of my medical school as if I was watching a sky in a clear night, surronding by stars and by the sounds of nature.
Sorry for my poor english, but this is the way I found to explain my deepest thankful to you and to Carl.

Henrique Mohr, 21 years-old.
From a distant place in the country of Brazil.

Henrique Mohr

I wachted "Cosmos" for the first time just a few days ago, but their impact in my life and in my student activites was astonishing! Now i´m reading his last book, "The Demons-Haunted World". Every page of it is amazing! I love Carl Sagan and I, as each one of you, feel that he keeps spreading his knowledge even after the Earth travels 11 times after the sun without Carl, as says Ann Druyan in her preview post.
The last week, I bought a book about astronomy, due to the ideas that Carl Sagan spoke about in his works, who made science too wonderful to everyone that have a way to learn it. The words and ideas that he left for us inspire me to study the subjects of my medical school as if I was watching a sky in a clear night, surronding by stars and by the sounds of nature.
Sorry for my poor english, but this is the way I found to explain my deepest thankful to you and to Carl.

Henrique Mohr
From a distant place in the country of Brazil.

Leo Close

Dear Ann
I stepped off a "redeye" flight this morning in Melbourne, Australia where I live, and at 7.00am was still wide awake. I turned on the television and Cosmos was showing. Always a lover of Carl and his very being, I sat and watched again this beautiful and influential man whom I never had the pleasure of meeting. In the show, Carl addressed a classroom of 8 or 9 year olds in Brooklyn. I was so envious of them. What an indescribable experience for those kids to be able to reflect years later as adults, they attended a science class with Carl Sagan. Wherever Carl is now, he is captivating those with him and again, I am envious of anyone, in this world or elsewhere, who is able to spend time with this beautiful being. My love and respect to you Ann and family. And of course, Carl.
LEO MELBOURNE AUSTRALIA

Santiago Medina

Since I was a kid, I remember that my dad loved the cosmos series. We watched cosmos every friday nights and we loved to talk about it the rest of the week . Because of Carl Sagan I always wanted to study astronomy. But I live in Colombia and is pretty hard to study something like that. Even though I do study chemical engineering and is because I love so much science because of the passion thar Carl showed on his show. I am relly thankful with Carl for give me so many happy times when I was watching cosmos or reading one of his books. He is my favorite character in the world.

Santiago Medina Dupont
Bogotá Colombia

Jeff Manny

I just stumbled on this blog tonight while viewing a disk of "Cosmos" from the DVD collection I recently ordered.

I first watched Cosmos as a 12 or 13 yr old in 1980 -- regularly tuning in to watch on Friday or Sunday evenings on PBS. I was already interested in astronomy as a youth -- probably reading my 1st astronomy book when I was 8 and getting my first telescope shortly thereafter. Cosmos further inspired my curiosity in astronomy, science, and mathematics and I continued to emphasize such courses in my education. I thought of going into astronomy but the practical side of my personality won out and I instead decided in 12th grade to pursue engineering in college.

I completed my major and have worked in the semiconductor industry for 17+yrs. I still am an amateur astronomer and enjoy taking my 8" Dobsonian out w/my kids on clear nights.

Bring Cosmos back to PBS! Better yet -- teachers and school administrators should make it part of their Science/Math curriculum! I've noticed my kids have taken an interest in the Cosmos program -- it shows Carl Sagan's genious of communicating complex ideas and topics in a humble, entertaining, and understandable way. Carl Sagan makes Science and Math cool! My wife, a professor in Math Education, has made me more aware of how kids in the USA are not taking enough Science and Math today and this country is in danger of losing its technolocial leadership in the future. Cosmos can surely ignite that passion in a new generation of kids just as it did 28 yrs ago.

Alvaro Rey

Dear Ann

First of all the English language is not my native, so i think that is very difficult for me to describe the influence of Doctor Carl in my life even if I use my words and my thoughts in Spanish. I was a little kid a kind of lonely and my father was the prime model of everything in those days, he was a very educated person who can talk about several fields and was also an excellent teacher, sometimes he encourage me to read and in that process he uses his free time to read and records some of the books of his preference trying to motivate me to start learning, at that time the public television start the broadcasting of the Cosmos series. Immediately Carl was like my father, but my father was an expert in history, sociology and other non exact science but Carl can talk to the deep side of my hart as my father but his words construct a view of our understanding of the universe, the technological advances and final the history. To summarize I went to College and finally I study Engineering (I guess that Carl won the battle with my dad) and then after my graduation I went to the graduate school and finally i became assistant professor in an university. Unfortunately my dad dies almost at the same time as Carl leaving a huge hole in my soul... especially my dad, not only for the obvious reason of the blood ties but most of all because he never wrote his thoughts about the world and let those thing only in my mind at least from Carl he still lives in his books and that is his greatest gift. At this time I am not as idealistic as in my child hood and several times i found myself drinking the bitter reality, a reality that tells me that the human kind is intolerant and lazy thinking, for the majority is better to believe rather than think and especially at this times my mine is thinking again and again... Could Doctor Sagan trying to sow in desert lands.

David Haw, England

Dear Ann. As a boy only sport enthused me. As an adult I became an accountant.
In the late 1970's I watched as Dr Carl Sagan gave the Christmas Lecture to The Royal Institute in London. I sat enthralled, and in an instant knew that had I ever had a teacher with such an absorbing way of imparting knowledge, my life would have been immeasurably different, and better.
I said as much only recently in an email to my daughter, who is studying environmental biology, and I have recommended this site to her in the hope that she can breath in the atmosphere, and not only learn her subject but also fall in love with it, just as you and your late husband clearly did with yours.
The book Cosmos is one of a few that live at my bedside, and as I re-read it from time to time, I hear that wonderful voice saying the words.
I recall his simple tribute to you in which he refers to his joy in sharing an epoch with Annie, it is very moving.
His was a special life, you had a special relationship, and I wish for my daughter that she goes on to achieve even a fraction of either.

Jose

Soy uno de los afortunados que ha crecido viendo por la TV el programa "Cosmos". Gracias a él, y por él, cuando crecí me dediqué a la Física y ahora enseño Física, lo cual me llena de satisfacción.
Tengo que dar las gracias a Ann y Carl por ello. He leido todos los libros que Carl y Ann han escrito y que he podido conseguir, y gracias a ellos, es probable, que mi personalidad se haya definido en lo que ahora soy.
También agradezco a los creadores de este blog la oportunidad que tengo de expresar mi gratitud de manera directa a Carl y Ann.
Sólo siento no poder expresarme en Inglés (English) pues aunque puedo leerlo con fluidez, no me atrevo a escribirlo aquí, por miedo a no saber expresar lo que siento claramente.
Un abrazo afectuoso a Ann desde Granada (Spain).
Jose.

Martin

Hi Ann, thanks for the update. I hope you and your family are doing well.

I want to share with you my 'discovery' of your late husband and his work, it is probably an uninteresting but quaint anecdote. I had only just recently taken up astronomy when exiting a record store, out of the corner of my eye as I was leaving the store a book caught my eye. On the front of the book there was an image of Earth and underneath I recognised the name "Carl Sagan". On complete impulse I picked up the book, did a 180 degree turn, went back to the counter and bought it.

I did not even read the inside of the jacket - I did not even realise what the subject matter of the book was, I bought it purely on associating "Carl Sagan" with astronomy. When I got home and took the book out of the bag and inspected it more closely I was a bit deflated to realise that the book wasn't even about astronomy, little did I realise I had made the best mistake of my life... the book was "the demon-haunted world".

It is hard to imagine a single book having such an impact on a person and changing the way they think, but that is the effect that book had on me.

I didn't realise it at the time, it only dawned on me later, but by coincidence I had bought the book within days of Carl passing away. I want to thank you for your part in enabling Carl to deliver to the world what he did in the time he was here.

As an aside, I have recently finished reading "Yours, Isaac Asimov. A lifetime of letters" which is an anthology of Asimov's correspondence with his fans and associates, put together by Stanley Asimov. I was wondering, and I hope you dont consider it cheeky to ask, but is there a chance that at some point in the future we could see something similar from the letters written by your late husband?

I'm sure it would give his fans a better insight into his life than the attempts at biographies written so far.

Rodolfo Goya

Dear Ms Druyan: I first watched the Cosmos series in the early ’80 when I was a graduate student, in Agentina, working on my PhD thesis. Although I cannot say that what Carl Sagan expressed in that wonderful series nudged my career into a different trajectory (I was already strongly committed to science and biomedical research), I was certainly influenced by his ideas and the way he viewed us, the human species, within the context of the cosmic immensity. I was then in my mid-twenties and found myself both marveled and further motivated in science by the clarity with which he expressed such profound concepts as the idea that we are a way for the Universe to know itself; or, that we have to be rigorous when observing the facts of nature but at the same time keep a sense of wonder at what we observe, be it the stars and galaxies or life and its fascinating complexity and order. He expressed in words, views and ideas that I felt were already in my mind, perhaps in embryonic form. I was glad that such a gifted being had had the opportunity to communicate his enlightening scientific and humanistic views to the general public worldwide.

Recently, after many years, I had the chance to see Cosmos again (the Collector’s Edition) and as I was watching the different chapters, all the feelings of those juvenile years came back to me. At the same time, a sense of loss pervaded my spirit when I thought that such a valuable being had disappeared so early in life, when he still could both give so much to us and witness the stream of new discoveries and technological wonders that science has brought to us in the last eleven years.

As he said, stars and humans are born, live and perish. However, unlike suns and galaxies, humans rebel against such a destiny. We have a built-in drive to explore new horizons in earth and space, and also have a perennial desire to defeat death and remain indefinitely young and healthy, so that we can keep learning, exploring and sharing life with our beloved ones. Losses like Carl’s rekindle my interest (and perhaps the interest of many) in defeating aging and death.

I concur with futurist and inventor Ray Kurzweil in the idea that technology is part of the process of evolution of life on earth and that the next step in evolution will be the merge of humans with their technology, leaving behind the carbon-based chemistry of life. In Kurzweil´s wiew, at some point we will become intelligent entities, our body and brain perhaps made of silicon-based components. At this stage, the words aging and death will no longer have the meaning they have today. At that point we will be ready for endeavors considered impossible today for humans, for instance travelling to the stars. I wonder what would have been Carl´s views and opinion on topics like this.

Perhaps one day we will be able to use the wormholes in space to travel back in time as he imagined, and in that way reunite with our friends and beloved ones.

Finally, I want to thank you for sharing (in your letter of 20 December 2006) with us, “the friends of Carl”, some of the personal memories of your life with him. Those memories now live on in us.

Warmest regards,

Rodolfo G. Goya
La Plata
Argentina

e-mail: goya@isis.unlp.edu.ar OR rgoya@netverk.com.ar

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