Carl Sagan was an astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, skeptic and critical thinker. He was the Professor of Astronomy and Space Sciences and Director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies at Cornell University. He played a leading role in the American space program and was a consultant and adviser to NASA since the late 1950′s. He was also responsible for briefing the Apollo astronauts before their flights to the Moon.
His first concern was with regards to science and technology. Sagan expressed great concern that “if the general public doesn’t understand science and technology, then who is making all of the decisions about science and technology that are going to determine what kind of future our children live in, some members of congress? There are only a handful who have any background in science at all, and some of them don’t even want to know about it.” – Carl Sagan
Sagan’s second warning for humanity was that science is more than a body of knowledge, that it is a way of thinking, a way of skeptically interrogating the universe. He expressed that if we are not able to ask skeptical questions, to interrogate those who tell us that something is true, to be skeptical of those in authority, then we as a human race are up for grabs. This is a great point, and a great reminder to always question what you are told.