Brain Pickings

Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, Remastered


It’s hard not to love Carl Sagan, who has done for science what John Szarkowski has for photography and Paola Antonelli for design. What pushed him into the forefront of cultural awareness was the now-iconic 1980s 13-part TV series he narrated and co-wrote, entitled Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, which was digitally remastered in 2002 and is now available in a glorious 7-disc DVD set. Nearly 3 decades ago, Sagan, eloquent and prfound as ever, touches on a number of today’s most critical issues — from international politics to our doomed dependence on fossil fuels — as he explores the universe and our place within it.

The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be. Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us — there is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation of a distant memory, as if we were falling from a great height. We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries.

Cosmos is an absolute cultural gem that we think should be required viewing in any education curriculum that purports to foster intellectual well-roundedness. The DVD set is well worth the investment, but you can also scour YouTube for segments from the different episodes.

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