Cover image for Carl Sagan's cosmic connection : an extraterrestrial perspective
Carl Sagan's cosmic connection : an extraterrestrial perspective
Sagan, Carl, 1934-1996.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Cosmic connection
Publication Information:
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2000.
Physical Description:
xxxi, 302 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Originally published: The cosmic connection. New York : Doubleday, 1973.

Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QB54 .S24 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



In 1973, Carl Sagan published The Cosmic Connection, a daring view of the universe, which rapidly became a classic work of popular science and inspired a generation of scientists and enthusiasts. This seminal work is reproduced here for a whole new generation to enjoy. In Sagan's typically lucid and lyrical style, he discusses many topics from astrophysics and solar system science, to colonization, terraforming and the search for extraterrestrials. Sagan conveys his own excitement and wonder, and relates the revelations of astronomy to the most profound human problems and concerns: issues that are just as valid today as they were thirty years ago. New to this edition are Freeman Dyson's comments on Sagan's vision and the importance of the work, Ann Druyan's assessment of Sagan's cultural significance as a champion of science, and David Morrison's discussion of the advances made since 1973 and what became of Sagan's predictions. Who knows what wonders this third millennium will reveal, but one thing is certain: Carl Sagan played a unique role in preparing us for them.

Author Notes

A respected planetary scientist best known outside the field for his popularizations of astronomy, Carl Sagan was born in New York City on November 9, 1934. He attended the University of Chicago, where he received a B.A. in 1954, a B.S. in 1955, and a M.S. in 1956 in physics as well as a Ph.D. in 1960 in astronomy and astrophysics. He has several early scholarly achievements including the experimental demonstration of the synthesis of the energy-carrying molecule ATP (adenosine triphosphate) in primitive-earth experiments. Another was the proposal that the greenhouse effect explained the high temperature of the surface of Venus. He was also one of the driving forces behind the mission of the U.S. satellite Viking to the surface of Mars. He was part of a team that investigated the effects of nuclear war on the earth's climate - the "nuclear winter" scenario.

Sagan's role in developing the "Cosmos" series, one of the most successful series of any kind to be broadcast on the Public Broadcasting System, and his book The Dragons of Eden (1977) won the Pulitzer Prize in 1978. He also wrote the novel Contact, which was made into a movie starring Jodie Foster. He died from pneumonia on December 20, 1996.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

This volume by the late Sagan won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best science book upon its initial publication (LJ 1/15/73). Sagan possessed a particular talent for taking something very complicated and explaining it in terms that the average person could easily understand. Humankind has long had a fascination bordering on obsession with the possibility of life beyond the boundaries of our own planet, and Sagan offers his take on extraterrestrial intelligence as well as life on Earth. This edition has been updated with a portrait of the author by his wife, plus a new introduction and an essay by science writer David Morrison assessing Sagan's theories, many of which have been proven true. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Freeman J. DysonAnn DruyanDavid Morrison
Forewordp. xi
Carl Sagan: A New Sense of the Sacredp. xvii
Prefacep. xxix
Part 1 Cosmic Perspectives
1. A Transitional Animalp. 3
2. The Unicorn of Cetusp. 9
3. A Message from Earthp. 17
4. A Message to Earthp. 21
5. Experiments in Utopiasp. 35
6. Chauvinismp. 41
7. Space Exploration as a Human Enterprise I. The Scientific Interestp. 51
8. Space Exploration as a Human Enterprise II. The Public Interestp. 59
9. Space Exploration as a Human Enterprise III. The Historical Interestp. 66
Part 2 The Solar System
10. On Teaching the First Gradep. 73
11. "The Ancient and Legendary Gods of Old"p. 77
12. The Venus Detective Storyp. 81
13. Venus Is Hellp. 87
14. Science and "Intelligence"p. 95
15. The Moons of Barsoomp. 101
16. The Mountains of Mars I. Observations from Earthp. 114
17. The Mountain of Mars II. Observations from Spacep. 123
18. The Canals of Marsp. 129
19. The Lost Pictures of Marsp. 135
20. The Ice Age and the Cauldronp. 141
21. Beginnings and Ends of the Earthp. 145
22. Terraforming the Planetsp. 148
23. The Exploration and Utilization of the Solar Systemp. 157
Part 3 Beyond the Solar System
24. Some of My Best Friends Are Dolphinsp. 169
25. "Hello, Central Casting? Send Me Twenty Extraterrestrials"p. 182
26. The Cosmic Connectionp. 186
27. Extraterrestrial Life: An Idea Whose Time Has Comep. 192
28. Has the Earth Been Visited?p. 199
29. A Search Strategy for Detecting Extraterrestrial Intelligencep. 209
30. If We Succeed ...p. 215
31. Cables, Drums, and Seashellsp. 221
32. The Night Freight to the Starsp. 227
33. Astroengineeringp. 229
34. Twenty Questions: A Classification of Cosmic Civilizationsp. 233
35. Galactic Cultural Exchangesp. 241
36. A Passage to Elsewhenp. 245
37. Starfolk 1. A Fablep. 249
38. Starfolk 2. A Futurep. 257
39. Starfolk 3. The Cosmic Cheshire Catsp. 263
Epilog to Carl Sagan's The Cosmic Connectionp. 268
About the Author, Producer, and Contributorsp. 295
Indexp. 298