Skip to main content

tv   National Book Festival - Ann Druyan Cosmos  CSPAN  January 2, 2021 9:45am-10:16am EST

9:45 am
democracy itself will then legitimize them looting and oppressing the other 49%. this is what they call democratic socialism. to me it is a form of gangster. >> his new book is the united states of socialism. visit our website, and click on the afterwords tab to view this and other episodes of afterwords. ♪ >> hello.
9:46 am
i am ann druyan and i'm speaking to you from my home in ithaca, new york. i'm the author of "cosmos: possible worlds," deeply, truly honored to be participating at an event for the library of congress. the very first "cosmos" exactly 40 years ago, carl sagan and stevens odor and i celebrated the library of alexandria. the library of congress means so very much to me because of the democratic idea of the world's knowledge to all of us so it is my honor to be here. to talk about possible worlds, the book i have written and the television series i had the
9:47 am
pleasure of producing, writing and directing with my collaborator. why "cosmos: possible worlds," why a third "cosmos" after 30 years? the first "cosmos" was an effort to give the broadest possible public, a global public its coordinates in space and time. it was carl sagan's dream, one that i completely share, that how we find our way in the cosmos, the great story of 40,000 generations of human beings who in one way or another added to our current
9:48 am
understanding, the wonderful inspiring stories to a global audience so as many of us as possible could have a cosmic perspective for space and time and in that original series there was the cosmic calendar in which we compressed what was then thought to be something like 18 billion year of cosmic evolution compressed into a single year in a glance calendar. over the last 40 years, our sense of the age of the cosmos, the great strength of science, it is power. because it seeks constantly to
9:49 am
error correct, use the methodology of science, 5 or 6 simple to ferret out those things, that is why science will never be completed and it is not for any one generation to see the whole picture of space-time, but instead, science is a generation finding enterprise, connecting all of us back to our earliest ancestors and more recently to the ancient greek inventors of science. adventures of library and memory and even a sense of the future. so the first "cosmos" was about finding a place in space-time and the second "cosmos" in 2014
9:50 am
took some of the unparalleled, explanatory power, motifs like the cosmic calendar and the ship of the imagination, it can take all of us anywhere in space-time powered by twin engines of skepticism and imagination. that is the key. not one at the expense of the other, rigorous skepticism, faithfulness to reality and to what the data tells us but at the same time a soaring imagination based on what we know could be possible. so the third "cosmos," "cosmos:
9:51 am
possible worlds," is my searching for evidence-based sense of how we could be hopeful about the future. we all know the long shadow that falls on our future, looking at our children and grandchildren, cannot feel a certain paying of remorse and concern about whether or not we are handing them a planet that will be as habitable for them as it has been for us and our ancestor. i knew there was no need to tell the audience how serious the challenges we face are, but instead to find hope, to find
9:52 am
reasons for hope that would be rational. i took my inspiration for the show from stories of some of the scientists who crossed the generations, faced formidable, dangerous, do not want their information to be shared with the public. i took a great deal of courage from the stories of maybe 2 dozen people you will meet in the pages of the book and episodes of the show who against all odds stood up in defense of reality come in
9:53 am
defense of the methodology of science for finding out where we are. nature will not be deceived. we can tell ourselves as many lies as we want to but in the end that will get us nowhere. it is worse than that. it will doom us. skepticism this sacred searching of science, it may be the most powerful advantage we have. after all, as organisms we are not the fastest were the biggest. we don't have those advantages, the ability, fantastic ability of pattern recognition, race
9:54 am
cleverness, to get beyond that place where the wind from the sun ties as our spacecraft has done. we can rendezvous with the distance planet and its moon 15 years from now, the smallest precision, we have enormous capabilities and yet here we are sleepwalking as if in a stupor, as if in a dream, unable to awaken and create the future that we need to create by making the changes the way we treat each other. this has been a moment of tremendous optimism for me because i have seen a sea change in the united states not
9:55 am
as a result of a single charismatic leader but a sea change in the heart of all of us and that is what is so inspiring because that is what has to happen and so i feel a great sense of hope and that hope is i hope, completely permeates every page, every word, every shot in the series and the book. in "cosmos: possible worlds," we imagine a distant future that our descendents could conceivably experience, worlds that circle others sons in places we can only dimly apprehend at this moment with our most powerful telescope.
9:56 am
how do we imagine that future with 100 degrees fahrenheit at the arctic when poisoning of the ocean, the rivers, the land, the air, the climate is so rampant and so completely out of control. part of it is i feel that there is a widespread yearning to fight for the future and i also feel unlike before, we have each other's phone number and communicate with each other. our planet at the moment we are reaching this urgent and
9:57 am
dangerous point in human history we have developed a means to communicate as an organism and to reach people all over the world. i am so proud of the fact the original ainissa ramirez -- "cosmos" series has been seen by nearly 1 billion people and both "cosmos" and "cosmos: possible worlds" shown in 180 countries. the message at the heart of "cosmos" is to make the case for science. not - it is practiced by human beings. we are deeply flawed. that is true. but the danger is that we currently place can only be
9:58 am
dealt with with scientific knowledge and a scientific approach, completely unflinching look at our true circumstances whether it be climate change or the global pandemic which has brought us to a halt, these are the days the earth stood still. before this pandemic began i don't think any of us thought that anything could make a stop in our tracks. and i personally have been quarantining alone from the first of march until a month ago and for me this was a tremendous experience to a moment of great sadness, great pain and the unfolding of
9:59 am
spring, as never before to appreciate each new leaf on the tree and the way that leaves our genius, towards any fantasy or any stories we can ever make up and so it has left me with a greater conviction than ever that we have what it takes. if you read the book or see the show, the book is important because it can tell these stories in such greater depth than is possible in a show that is on for an hour. what you will see in these stories is not only the possible worlds, the xo planets, the other worlds that
10:00 am
may lie in our future as well as the lost worlds of this planet, the lost civilizations of which we know so little waiting to be discovered and unearthed and finally it is about the possible world that this can be home. ..
10:01 am
>> this is about money. ann: if we can value certain inconveniences given to society here. the water, the climate, the things that keep me to try. and others on things, those are just recent construct. that will leave the past few centuries of quicken keep allies and the most precious and precious. and then wonders that await us in this times. they are behin beyond our wildet imaginations. science says to us that it people feel kind of her diet and i respect that. we started out in 16 oh nine to go back to galileo.
10:02 am
we were the only children of a creator that the entire universe revolves around us. and one by one, what i call the great demotion. 151, once the world had accepted to the extent that we have, the work of the earlier scientists who said that the sun is at the center of the solar system. once we said okay, for not at the center of the solar system we are at the center of a galaxy. in the universe. nope, no, not any of those. but we were created separately from the rest of all of the other living beings on this planet preview of god only
10:03 am
children. well known, it turns out were not so deeply related to each other. and to all of the life that we share with this planet that we have more in common genetically, your me with the sunflower and we are likely to help with the being are any other world in the cosmos. so i cherish what carl says. carl segan. you will not find another in a hundred million galaxies with another. so this is some of this parts of science. and to me, when i look at that and i have looked at it countless times since that first moment that carl showed it to me back in the early 90s.
10:04 am
that image and not say, this is where science and spirituality and. i must and even the aesthetics. you do not need with that hello blue dot is telling you and seeing the competence, the tiny duct. how can nationalist the show would come with the polluter. from the fossil fuel's the product that will destroy our future, how can we look at that dot. and escape its meaning. there's been this kind of ball.
10:05 am
this very tall ball between science and the rest of us. and i was not born inside of those balls of science. i was a student, a not a good math students are science student and i didn't come from a lot of science until i was an adult and i found those things and began to feel included . and then when i met carl segan, and one of my greatest teachers of the last thousand years and more that's my view . when i met him, and had the honor and privilege to spend 20 years thinking with him. writing with him, working with him. it we are a beautiful family
10:06 am
together. i felt this overwhelming desire to share the spiritual uplift enjoy the pleasure of knowing him. and about that universe revealed by science . with everyone on earth as curly's to say. why don't you go out and do the television shows and not spend all the time the laboratory . go to naturalization ceremonies and kindergartens and so any other things that he did to talk about science. and he would say, when you are in love, you want to tell the world. and that's what attempt but in my book which is very personal in any ways. and of course personal in ways that the television show could
10:07 am
not be. i felt, will that's what i wanted to do was to share this knowledge. we just no longer in town developed me. it's no longer boring and no longer something that i felt alienated from. instead i felt a desire to tell these stories come these great science and heroic figures and people who chose death rather than telling a lie about science. i don't think i could do that . and people who you have never heard of, they're not the door was the galileo's. throughout the household names. but instead they are on some heroes who lived so bravely and
10:08 am
dramatically. and who made it possible for us to venture to the stars. it never known anyone who is able to integrate those very vigorous evidence based mathematical knowledge of physics in chemistry and biology that was comprehensive. enable to do that. that theory and that skepticism. with that thousands of imaginations. in some ways, the founding myth of simulatio civilization. if you partake in this go to the tree of knowledge. you will be if rowan did and immeasurable and doomed.
10:09 am
and it's a criminal thing to do. whereas i feel that in the story of genesis, what we do partakes of the fruit of the tree of knowledge. that's when we become our human self. it is the most natural for us . this is what we are really good at. so you can't do it just with skepticism. and not the first person to say this. einstein, carl, any people said this would be for me. you need that kind of baloney detection kit in your brain. which helps you discern things that are real from things that we want to be real but are not. you need that . but then you also need imagination and a
10:10 am
sense of the great beauty of life. and when i think about the person who was able to integrate those two things perfectly. never at the expense of the other. i always think of carl freighted because he embodied that. he followed his legs. and i think was probably one of the most fully realized human beings. he's the most fully realized human being that i ever met because he never lost have great joy of life. the romance of life. and of being alive. and i think one of the reasons he so beloved and i this in turn to . see had that urgent sense of that the universe was now really old. that the purchas earth is approa
10:11 am
billion built 8 billion years old. how do we live. this is the best we can get for you and yet carl knew that he would not just do lip service in life. so something he just preached. canoe how brief life is, maybe a hundred years a lucky. and so he lived with that sense of great pleasure and appreciation for even the smallest things. but at the same time, training so big. if of what it would be like to stand upon the world of another son and to travel into the great distant future . the past. if you like something has
10:12 am
happened. since we began the space exploration space x began. i read about this in the book. it will actually tell this in the show. all of the different scientific differences were very silent . so there is not a single journey on planet earth where geologist and biologist could co- posture with the scientific data. how amazing. and in the beginning, of his carl stipe. he was constantly being criticized for being wildly into bliss intro disciplinarian. yet i think he understood when to leave this planet, whether your with other human beings, there's no way to resort didn't
10:13 am
understand that a complete synthesis of any different scientific disciplines buried can go to mars without geologist and he want and a is founder and visit this income estate. and astrobiologist to explain to hunt for a golf for another life if there is any. so he was part of that generation in fact he edited the very first scientific journal which made it possible for collaboration among the scientific disciplines. and that's another facet of why we think of him as the great tearing down of the walls . nudges the wall between science and the rest of us but also the walls between the disciplines. in dealing with such vigor and joy and imagination of what the
10:14 am
next spacecraft would be . but also how to control people of all ages the best joy in discovery. there may not be or sacrifice your humanity and your soul to be a scientist. and if you are a writer, an artist, a musician. you need not lose any of that creative juice. i knowing something about nature for you in fact i think that it makes everything that much. ♪ ♪
10:15 am
>> you're watching look to be on "c-span2", every weekend with the latest non- fiction books and authors. a book tv on "c-span2" created by americans cable television company. today brought to you by the television company to provide book tv to viewers as a public service. next on book tv, theoretical physicist leonard mlodinow remembrances friendship with the late "stephen hawking". and then he recounts the life of malcom x followed by his starring ian toll


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on