Happy Birthday, Carl Sagan!

“At the heart of science is an essential balance between two seemingly contradictory attitudes — an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre or counterintuitive they may be, and the most ruthless skeptical scrutiny of all ideas, old and new.  This is how deep truths are winnowed from deep nonsense.”
Whenever I'm feeling down about science, about my ability to be a scientist, about the futility of trying to wring any meaning whatsoever from the universe, I just think of the wise words of Carl Sagan.  He was probably the first to articulate the conflict between my love for science and my loathing of science classes.  “Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist," he says, "and then we beat it out of them.  Few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact.”

He is ever an inspiration for being an effective and passionate science communicator.

So, happy birthday, Carl Sagan!  Your star-stuff lives on.