Headline, November 20 2020/ ''' '' COSMOS -CARL SAGAN- COVETS '' '''

''' '' COSMOS -CARL 


THE TITLE OF SASHA'S BOOK BORROWS A LINE made famous by her father in his groundbreaking TV series ''Cosmos''. But as she reveals in ''For Creatures Such As We'' it was actually her mother Ann who came up with it.

Be it politics or sports, there are some whose path appears predetermined just on account of surname. And traversing it, as inevitable as the world can make it seem, paradoxically appears as an insurmountable feat.

Fans or colleagues, those around such individuals imbue moments of personal nostalgia - a shared experience between parent and child - with impossibly high stakes. DNA is not enough for the world to acknowledge your heredity. It demands an overt display that makes legacies built by sheer effort and will even harder to sustain.

How to make science attractive : Carl Sagan spent his entire life instilling curiosity, improving science education and arguing with governments over issues like global warming and nuclear warfare.

While he himself was always realistic about an average person's capability of understanding the fine print of scientific ideas, how would he have reacted to the to the widespread Covid-19 deniers out there today?

According to Sasha, the biggest challenge in changing this mindset lies in making science education more engaging and attractive. ''How do we get people to understand science beyond a list of formulas is a question that is poignant to the United States as it is to the rest of the world,'' she stressed.

''In a perfect world, school teachers would earn huge salaries. Enough to draw people interested in their subjects from the private sector if need be.''

The next step concerns people's approach to parenthood, for Sasha, parents should not be afraid to admit they don't know something. ''It is important; I think to let the children know that you don't have all answers. We ought to invoke a sense of curiosity among them that leads them beyond rote memorisation,'' she added.

IN HER DEBUT BOOK - SASHA SAGAN REFLECTS on being raised by 30th-century science heroes - the influential Carl Sagan and his better half Ann Druyan - without any sense of burden or urgency.

In conversation with The Express Tribune - she seemed at ease with her surname as she goes about building family tradition in her own way:

''I think my philosophy is the same as that of my parents. I haven't rebelled in that department,'' she quipped. ''No matter how skeptical or orthodox your scientific worldview is, there is immense joy and revelry in life. I don't think that diverges from how I was raised.''

Part memoir and part investigation into the mysteries of nature, For Creatures Such As We reads like a soothing balm for those juggling life and ritual while making sense of the laws that govern our world and the universe.

''Finding a way to let our rituals and scientific realities overlap is important,'' said Sasha, explaining that behind so many of our traditions is logic underpinned by science.

''Different cultures and religions have coming of age rites, but they celebrate what is essentially a biological event : passing from childhood into puberty,'' she elaborated.

''Similarly, it is not just faith or tradition that governs many of our holidays. Hiding behind them is an understanding of equinoxes and axial tilt.''

''My parents raise me with the philosophy that science is both a method of understanding reality and a source of awe and wonder.''

''Moments of discovery through the scientific method are indeed akin to spirituality,'' she added.

On death and parenthood : The title of Sasha's book borrows a line made famous her father in the groundbreaking TV series Cosmos. But as she reveals in For Creatures Such As We, it was actually her mother who came up with it.

That is just the tip of the interesting anecdotes that pepper the book, however, Sasha lays out in vivid detail what being raised by true skeptics looks like. For instance, she narrates how sought reassurances from her parents upon learning of the reality of death.

''Promise me you won't die'' a young Sasha would plead. While her mother would sweetly reply, ''I promise,'' her father would smile and say, ''I'll try my best,''

''Such an accuracy zealot,'' is how Sasha describes Carl in her book.

As harrowing as these reflections are, the fact that Sasha wrote the book while still pregnant with her daughter adds another interesting layer. Speaking to The Express Tribune she admitted that getting married and embracing motherhood was crucial in inspiring her to make a case for rituals.

''It was certainly a cathartic experience for me. So many people around me in my age bracket have started to think about having children and are wrestling with the questions of how to talk about death with them,'' she said.

''What are the traditions you want passed down and what you want to to leave out? What do you emphasize and what do you value?'' 

The Honor and Serving of the Latest Great Works on Sense, Science and Spirituality continues. The World Students Society thanks author Rafay Mahmood.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

''' Faith - Fame '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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