November 9, 1934 – Astrophysicist and science popularizer Carl Sagan is born in New York City. Aside from his peer-reviewed accomplishments as a scientist, he was a prominent speculator about the possibility of extraterrestrial life (he organized the creation of the plaques mounted to the Pioneer space probesÂ and the so-called “Golden Records” mounted to the Voyagers, which theoretically might be found and deciphered by extraterrestrials, leading them to earth). He co-wrote and presented the groundbreaking TV science documentary COSMOS: A Personal Voyage, one of the most-watched public broadcasting productions of all time.Â He was also outspoken in favor of scientific skepticism, nuclear proliferation and other social issues. His only novel Contact was a bestseller adapted as a popular 1997 movie starring Jody Foster. His non-fiction books include The Dragons of Eden (which won a Pulitzer), The Demon-Haunted World and Pale Blue Dot. Sagan died in 1996, aged 62.
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