“Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. … The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.”
Carl Sagan on science and spirituality, a timelessly fantastic read:
Darwin’s life, adapted in poems by his great-grand-daughter, using his books, journals, autobiography, scientific papers, notebooks, drafts, and letters to summon an affectionate and imaginative memoir of rare poetic elegance.
“Maybe you have to believe in the value of everything to believe in the value of anything.”
What an obscure endangered butterfly teaches us about parenthood, legacy, and being human
“A good scientific theory shines its light, revealing the world’s fearful symmetry. And its failure is also a success, as it shows us where to look next.”
Dorion Sagan, son of Carl, considers the vital relationship between science and philosophy
Fascinating read on the difference between curiosity and wonder:
A whimsical primer on space exploration from 1953 – long before the first man on the moon – written and illustrated by a female author, a remarkable feat for the era.
“He might ask you … whether you think a computer could ever enjoy strawberries and cream or could make you fall in love with it.”
An uncommon portrait of Alan Turing, godfather of modern computing.
From janitor to chemist, the women of Oak Ridge worked hard and talked little.
“Light had come to the American city. And it was just awful.”
A brief history of giving the people what they wanted, or why the lightbulb was a mere cog in the machinery of total illumination.
A vintage illustrated guide to the science of language, reprinted 30 years later with art by Keith Haring
Vintage science illustrations by Disney, extolling the virtues of nuclear power
“I’m stricken by the ricochet wonder of it all: the plain everythingness of everything, in cahoots with the everythingness of everything else.”
Diane Ackerman’s beautiful poems for each planet in the Solar System, which Carl Sagan sent Timothy Leary in prison
Genius means that someone can be gifted with one type of cognition while being average or below average in another.
There are many definitions of intelligence competing for attention in popular culture. But the definition that has guided my research and that applies throughout the book is a very simple one. The genius of dogs — of all animals, for that matter, including humans — has two criteria:
- A mental skill that is strong compared with others, either within your own species or in closely related species.
- The ability to spontaneously make inferences.
Astronauts vs. cosmonauts, Apollo vs. Sputnik, and what Gagarin had to do with JFK – a lovely illustrated chronicle of the Space Age.
The story of a pioneering and controversial female mathematician who helped shed light on the molecular structure of proteins, was the first woman to receive a Doctor of Science degree from Oxford University, and embodied the cross-pollination of disciplines two decades before C. P. Snow’s famous lament about the “two cultures”: