If you were around in 1980 and had any interest in science or space, chances are you were watching Carl Sagan’s Cosmos on public television like me. Made at the height of the Cold War, this show was a hopeful and inspiring look at our place in the universe. Even the soundtrack, featuring music from Vangelis, Goro Yamaguchi, Vivaldi, Stravinsky, and others, was inspiring. The library has had Cosmos available to watch on VHS for years, but now we have the digitally remastered and updated collector’s edition DVDs. While some of the effects may still feel a little bit dated, the digital restoration means it’s never looked better. And Carl Sagan’s enthusiasm for the subject matter is timeless. And in the few places where the science has advanced, there are optional “science update” subtitles as well as video updates following many of the episodes.
If you’ve never seen Cosmos, block out some time to really enjoy these thirteen hour-long episodes.
The library also has a copy of the companion book that Carl Sagan wrote to go with the series. It’s shelved with the VHS copies of the show. And the library has lots of other books and videos about Outer Space if you are really interested.
To give you a taste, here is a YouTube video of the first 5 minutes of the first episode.
And just for fun, here is one of the Symphony of Science music videos where Carl Sagan and other scientists have been auto-tuned into singing about science.