Sagan’s Quotes: Charlie Rose Interview (1996) #6

According to a report from the Congressional Research Service, released on March 14th, out of the 535 people elected to Congress (435 in the House of Representatives and 100 in the Senate) there are “2 physicists, 6 engineers, and 1 microbiologist (all in the House, with the exception of 1 Senator who is an engineer).” That is exactly 9 members of Congress with a background in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). If you do the math that comes out to 1.682242% or rounded up to 1.7% with any background in STEM*. Reading those numbers makes Carl Sagan’s next quote, said in the year 1996, seem more profound.

#6

Living in a society based on science and technology:

“We live in an age based on science and technology with formidable technological powers … and if we don’t understand it, by ‘we’ I mean the general public, if it something that ‘oh I’m not good at that; I don’t know anything about it’; than who is making all the decisions about science and technology that are going to determine what kind of future are children live in, just some members of congress, but there is no more than a handful of members of congress with any background in science at all”

sagancollection

In Case You Haven’t Seen the Other Quotes Or Want to Get The Quotes in Full Context You Can See The Full Interview Here:

*There is also one astronaut in the Senate.

 

In Case You’re Interested:

I found an interesting article titled “Physicist Elected to Congress Calls for More Scientists-Statesmen”, from Scientific American, in which Representative from Illinois Bill Foster, who is a particle physicist and a businessman, discusses the lack of scientists in Congress and he would like to change that.

 

Sagan’s Quotes: Charlie Rose Interview (1996) #5

#5

What religion deals with and where it gets into trouble according to Carl Sagan:

“Religion deals with history, with poetry, with great literature, with ethics; with morals including the morality of treating compassionately the least fortunate among us – all of these are things I endorse wholeheartedly. Where religion gets into trouble is in those cases that it pretends to know something about science… The trouble comes with people who are biblical literalists, who believe that the bible is dictated by the creator of the universe to an unerring stenographer and has no metaphor or allegory in it.”

Carl-Sagan-1970

In Case You Haven’t Seen the Other Quotes Or Want to Get The Quotes in Full Context You Can See The Full Interview Here:

Sagan’s Quotes: Charlie Rose Interview (1996) #4

#4

 Sagan on the difference between science and religion:

“The thing about science is first of all it’s after the way the universe really is and not what makes us feel good, and a lot of the competing doctrines are after what feels good and not what’s true.”

Carl Sagan Cosmos

In Case You Haven’t Seen the Other Quotes Or Want to Get The Quotes in Full Context You Can See The Full Interview Here:

Sagan’s Quotes: Charlie Rose Interview (1996) #1

I have been watching updated version of COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey, airing on Fox and the National Geographic Channel, hosted by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and I began thinking about the host and creator of the original COSMOS: A Personal Voyage– Carl Sagan. As I listen and watch his speeches and interviews, in my opinion, he gives some amazing quotes when talking about science and the universe. His interview with Charlie Rose is an example.

What I want to do is take six (6) quotes from that interview, his last full sit down interview, and post one (1) quote on its own at a time so that whoever may come across these pages can stop and think, even if for only a second, about what it means and the relevance it holds even in the year 2014.

#1

When talking about the general public’s lack of knowledge and understanding in the fields of technology and science:

“There’s two kinds of dangers one is what I just talked about- that we’ve arranged a society based on science and technology in which nobody understands anything about science and technology – and this combustible mixture of ignorance and power sooner or later is going to blow up in our faces, I mean who is running the science and technology in a democracy if the people don’t know anything about it; and the second reason that I’m worried about this is that science is more than a body of knowledge it’s a way of thinking, a way of skeptically interrogating the universe with a fine understanding of human fallibility. If we are not able to ask skeptical questions, to interrogate those who tell us that something is true, to be skeptical of those in authority then were up for grabs for the next charlatan – political or religious – who comes ambling along. It’s a thing that Jefferson lay great stress on. It wasn’t enough, he said, to enshrine some rights in a constitution or a bill of rights – the people had to be educated and they had to practice their skepticism and their education, otherwise we don’t run the government, the government runs us.”
 
 

If You Want to Get The Quotes in Full Context You Can See The Full Interview Here: