[box]This is a guest post from Beth Kelly, who is a freelance writer and blogger. Born and raised in Michigan, she moved to Chicago to attend DePaul University where she graduated in 2011. She lived in Krakow, Poland briefly before moving to South Korea to teach English. She writes most frequently on health and technology topics. You can follow her on Twitter @bkelly_88.[/box]
Carl Sagan, a science fiction fan from the start, had once dreamed of living on the planet Venus. But as a young doctoral student in the early 1960’s, he was the first to confirm the planet’s extreme temperatures and inhospitable nature. Using rudimentary data tables, he established that a “very efficient greenhouse effect” was at work, continually emitting prodigious levels of CO2 into the atmosphere and eliminating any potential for life.
As the host of the original Cosmos series, a program responsible for inspiring legions of scientists-to-be, one wonders if he would be a leader in today’s discussions concerning climate change. The greatest “science communicator” of his generation, Sagan appeared regularly on the Tonight Show, and had twenty bestselling and critically-acclaimed science books to his name. But, today his influence can also be detected someplace else – in his contemporary counterpart, the inimitable Neil deGrasse Tyson. The two once spent an afternoon together during Tyson’s college search. Of that meeting, he remembered thinking, “I already knew I wanted to become a scientist. But that afternoon, I learned from Carl, the kind of person I wanted to become.”