The Fascination of Science
Carl Sagan's television series "Cosmos" offers us something unusual—a view of science in a grand sweep from the most ancient speculations we know of to the most modern discoveries we have made, and making use of the most advanced television techniques to lure us into understanding.
It offers us something even more unusual than that—it offers us the sight of an audience of millions of people who will eagerly watch a view of science that is not watered down.
As a spinoff from the television series there will be Sagan's Cosmos, a book that will reduce to print the words, vision, and action of the series. The first printing is 150,000 and there is no doubt that a number of printings will be required.
To be sure, Sagan is an attractive, well-spoken, brilliant person, a professional astronomer of imagination, capacity, and renown, and a writer of great skill—so one might presume that it isn't science the public is watching and reading, but Sagan.
That would be a tempting conclusion were it not for the fact that we are seeing an explosion of science magazines on the newsstands—magazines of real science, for the most part, that resist the temptation to fade off into mysticism and fairy tales.
We are seeing also a steady rise in the popularity of science fiction. This is true in the printed medium, where, in previous decades, science fiction had been the least-regarded of the categories of popular fiction, but where now it grows steadily while other branches of fiction are withering. It is spectacularly true in the visual media, where the great Hollywood