By Hamish Johnston
As a young lad in the 1970s I remember enjoying Carl Sagan’s television programme Cosmos.
Did it inspire me to become a physicist? Not really, but it was entertaining and there was something very soothing about the way Sagan spoke in an accent best described as “Brooklyn intellectual”.
One physicist (and TV personality) who was inspired by Cosmos is Brian Cox, who was on BBC Radio 4’s Great Lives programme yesterday to sing the praises of Sagan.
“As a young boy of 13, Brian Cox stared at his television screen every Wednesday evening, as Carl Sagan took him on a journey across the Cosmos”, says the BBC’s promotional material.
Sagan, who died in 1996, was somewhat controversial as both a scientist and a promoter of science and the BBC programme asks: “So just how good a scientist was he, and what is his legacy?”
You can listen to the programme here .