I happened across this final interview with the great Carl Sagan by Charlie Rose recently. I actually remember watching this when it aired way back in 1996 when I was a college student.
There is much to love about this 20min interview, and the part that stuck out to me upon this viewing in 2022 comes at about 17:40. It took us 25 years, but now we’ve undeniably hit the moment he foresaw…
“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 we’re up for grabs for the next charlatan – political or religious – who comes ambling along.”
Thank you Mr. Sagan for all that you contributed to the world and how we think about it!
And now to you, dear reader. What was your favorite part of this video, and why?