A New Generation Awakes To The COSMOS
“The cosmos is all there is or ever was or ever will be and we are the way for the cosmos understands itself”: Carl Sagan
A lot of us have had the opportunity to be a captive audience and listen to the phenomenally introspective speech by his eminence Carl Sagan called “The Pale Blue Dot”. Back in the 1980’s, this great astronomer brought science to the homes of millions of people worldwide and broke the facade that to understand science one needs to go through years of training. Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, was a pioneering show which made people realize that science is collective human knowledge and a right of all.
Come 2014, the magic is recreated by everybody’s favorite bad-ass Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. Cosmos: A Space-time Odyssey is the next chapter in the ultimate memoirs of human exploration. The man is a testament of the fact that if your dreams are pure and your heart is set at the right place, even a kid from Bronx can grow up to become a world famous Astrophysicist. He is one of the most revered science communicator. Mr. Tyson is currently the Director of the Hayden Planetarium and a research associate in the department of astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History. He has the ability to teach you something new in every interaction.
The show is also run by some of the most creative and knowledgeable people in the industry. Seth Macfarlane and Ann Druyan are the executive producers of the show. Seth is well known for his hysterical cartoon series, Family Guy, on the FOX network. He used his weight at FOX to attract financial investment for this second edition of Cosmic pilgrimage for science enthusiasts. Ann Druyan on the other hand, was the co-creator of the original Cosmos along with Steven Soter. She was also Carl Sagan’s wife and had been his lifelong collaborator. Seth’s animation crew needs to be credited for some phenomenal storytelling.
The beauty of Cosmos lies in the brilliance of the host, the hypnotizing visuals, simplified concepts and most importantly showcasing science as a human endeavor spanning across generations unlimited by the barriers of human made segregation’s such as religion, cultures, nations, etc. The show is beautifully scored by Alan Silvestri which completes the immersive experience of the show. The show also has a broader reach by broadcasting it on multiple channels.
The underlying message throughout the series has been that we are all the beneficiaries of all those heroic explorers who came before us. Their courage and aspirations to create an environment where the knowledge is free and unrestrictingly available to all, helped create the concept of free and open society which we inhabit now.
The show proves that the scientific method of testing ideas based on experiments and observations, building upon the ideas that pass the test, rejecting those that fail, following the evidence to where it leads and questioning everything has helped science to ascend over all the barriers placed in front of it. Hence skepticism is the most helpful tool in the quest of scientific exploration.
Cosmos also breaks convention by not just talking about European scientist but scientific pathfinders from across race, cultures, religions and sex. It also revealed to a lot of ignoramuses that Arabic, which immediately brings image of gun totting terrorists in our contemporary minds was once the language of science. Also it goes further and shows how women scientists like Annie Jump Cannon, Henrietta Swan Leavitt and Cecilia Payne changed our fundamental understanding of the universe radically.
The show is totally capable of astonishing you with spell-bounding facts. One of the most profound revelations of science is that we all and everything around us is made of Star stuff, so the stars and moon, your couch, your dog, the great wall of china are all made of the same 92 ingredients called elements. This fact not just develops a deep sense of connectivity with the universe but also raises the empathy quotient of an individual.
Shows like Cosmos are extremely essential to be inscribed into public consciousness. Cosmos is a tribute to the undying spirit of curiosity. It demonstrates that every truth, every new audacious idea as we know today was once considered a blasphemy. It was because of strength of convictions of a many known and many more unknown individuals throughout the centuries who sacrificed a lot with just one goal in mind; the search for the truth may whatever the cost. We will forever be indebted to the greatness of such exemplary human beings.