new photo blog

i started this blog in 2006, and it's shifted along with my interests through the years. it's been witness to a lot of learning for me...

still, i feel that i need a home for my photography -- so from now on, i'll be posting my pictures on the journal on my reworked website. if you like my photos, you might decide to follow me there!

my first post is here -- check it out!

as for this blog, i'm not sure what will happen. i don't think i'm willing to let it go, and certainly i'll keep it as an archive, but i need some time to figure it out.

for those of you that pop in from time to time, thanks for the visits and encouragement.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

brian cox and scientific activism

on the a.v. club:

the a.v. club:
you and your show have been compared to carl sagan and 
cosmos as well as patrick moore and the sky at night. what does wonders of the universe have to say or show us that is new?

brian cox:
good question. carl sagan was a huge influence. cosmos was on tv in the U.K. when i was 12, in 1980. so that would be the perfect age for a kid who is into astronomy anyway, as many are. and to have that series capture your imagination at that age, it makes an indelible impression on you. i think one of the reasons that sagan is still relevant today, and one of the reasons he’s very relevant in television, is that his shows were partly polemic. they were not simply—as is the fashion today—these kinds of presentations of what we know and don’t know about the universe, which is exciting and spectacular, but there’s more to it than that. there’s an agenda. not to science, but to him. he had an agenda. he thought he would build a better world if everybody understood the value of the world and behaved in a scientific manner. he really believed that. he was passionately involved in that perspective.

and that perspective is not that we’re very small or insignificant. to sagan, the perspective was that because civilization is so rare in the universe, then our rarity could have value. stepping away from the earth, observing our existence on earth, and putting our place in the universe in its proper context, for him, should make us on the planet behave in a more sensible and rational way. he recognized that we’re a village. i agree with that. the 
wonders of the universe program has that [approach]. it has messages in it. it tries to contextualize these discoveries as well as present them. and why not? in the U.K., i am quite political. i work at university, and i am involved in the political process. i lobby really hard for funding and support for scientific and engineering programs, because i feel that those are the ways that we will progress as a civilization and as a country. that’s what i share with sagan’s view, that you can be an activist—a scientific activist—and you should be able to do that on television and with books.

read the whole piece here.

h/t to the sagan appreciation society.

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