I’ve been teaching Science Communication this term to graduate students, trying to help them become better at making their science more vivid, clear and accessible to everyone. This has made me reflect on who are the people that have inspired me in these kinds of endeavors. To me, the master was Carl Sagan. When I was an undergraduate at the University of Kentucky, Cosmos was broadcast on PBS (all the episodes can now be seen on Vimeo – episode one is here). I was fascinated with how someone could make all that complex physics, astronomy and cosmology so simple and interesting. I still remember how clearly and elegantly he explained why we know the speed of light is constant in Episode 8 of Cosmos (starting at 14:00 in the episode).
Here’s a great video that was his statement about the Earth and our place in the universe. The Pale Blue Dot.