25 Years Ago: Carl Sagan Warns of the Risks of Scientific Ignorance

"We live in a society absolutely dependent on science and technology and yet have cleverly arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. That's a clear prescription for disaster."

Carl Sagan (1934-1996) was an astronomer and popular scientist known for authoring dozens of books and hosting the award-winning 1980 television series Cosmos: A Personal VoyageSagan was the proto- Bill Nye or Neil deGrasse Tyson, a public figure who championed science education and related knowledge in ways suitable for popular consumption. 


The following quotation of Sagan's turns 25 years old this year. He almost certainly would be disappointed — though perhaps not surprised — with how aptly it describes today's conditions as well. With all that has changed since 1990, it's important to think about just how much remains the same.

"We live in a society absolutely dependent on science and technology and yet have cleverly arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. That's a clear prescription for disaster."

Source: with Anne Kalosh (October 1994), "Bringing Science Down to Earth", Hemispheres [Wikiquote]

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