Sagan, Carl

Sagan, Carl (19341996), a United States scientist and author. He was a leading popularizer of science, appearing frequently on television and writing many best-selling books. He became best known for his 1980 television series, Cosmos, and a book of the same name adapted from it. His study of human intelligence, The Dragons of Eden (1977), was awarded a Pulitzer Prize.

Sagan was born in New York City. He received a Ph.D. in astronomy and astrophysics from the University of Chicago in 1960. He taught at Harvard University before joining Cornell University as a professor and astrophysicist in 1968. Sagan became a leading researcher on the nature of the atmospheres of Mars and Venus, and many of his findings based on telescope observations were confirmed by space probes.

Other books include Intelligent Life in the Universe (1966), Planetary Exploration (1970), Cosmic Connection (1973), Pale Blue Dot (1994), The Daemon-Haunted World (1995), and Contact (1985), a novel.