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Cosmos

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by tigerade, Mar 9, 2014.

  1. tigerade

    tigerade Member

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    For those not aware, the new Cosmos series premiers tonight. Yes, a new iteration of the famed Cosmos by Carl Sagan. To say that I am a fan of the original Cosmos would be an understatement, that TV show not only educated me but it changed the way I look at the world. I am still amazed at Carl Sagan's work, and how it helps me challenge my own presuppositions and seek to learn more about science. Science is not just a body of knowledge, but it's a path of discovery that helps us learn more about ourselves and the universe around us. It's a style of thinking, and in my opinion, the best style of thinking. It may not be perfect, but it's the best we humans have.

    So as you can guess, I am pretty excited about this rebirth of the classic series. It's going to be narrated by Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson this time around. I have strong confidence in Dr. Tyson's ability to communicate science to the public. But what I am nervous about, is whether or not the TV series can accomplish it's main goal - to get the public to embrace evidence-based reasoning. There has arguably never been a time where educating the public on science issues has been more important: global warming, GMO's, protection of wildlife, water conservation, air pollution, etc. These issues are important and require the voting public to have knowledge about what the evidence is.

    Anyway, here's a trailer. I hope you will tune in and encourage your friends and family to as well. This show is going to be exciting, but what will be even more exciting is bringing science to the masses.

    Official Trailer | COSMOS | FOX BROADCASTING - YouTube
     
  2. Bearman

    Bearman Member

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    The original series was great and hopefully this one is too.
    Thanks for posting this Tigerade.
     
  3. Larry

    Larry Member

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    Looking forward to it. I'm mystified on how its on Fox though-that's a head scratcher for me.
     
  4. Stoneymonster

    Stoneymonster Active Member

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    Fox network != Fox News
     
  5. tigerade

    tigerade Member

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    I remember hearing in one of NDT's interviews that they wanted to target science skeptics... people who are unfamiliar or antithetical to science.

    So Fox would likely be the right place to do it. It should be noted though that there is a difference between Fox Network and Fox News channel. Fox Network was around long before the news channel came around.

    Fox speaks to a general audience... and that's exactly what we need.

    To make things even more interesting, President Obama will give opening remarks. Regardless of your views on him, it's pretty helpful to have a sitting president come on TV and encourage people to learn more about science.
     
  6. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Perhaps, but I won't even watch a Fox movie anymore because I don't want to support anything that is related to Fox News.
     
  7. SwedishAdvocate

    SwedishAdvocate Active Member

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    Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox News and 20th Century Fox are all owned by Rupert Murdoch. And he owns a lot more than that.
     
  8. Stoneymonster

    Stoneymonster Active Member

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    Yes and he'll make money with whatever programming works. Right wing, left wing (Simpsons) and pro and anti science.
     
  9. tigerade

    tigerade Member

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    Very happy with the premier of Cosmos. I am feeling that sense of inspiration and wonder that I felt watching the original Cosmos. Great tribute to Sagan as well.
     
  10. Zythryn

    Zythryn MS 70D, MX 90D

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    +1!!!

    Extremely well done. I can't wait for the next episode:)
     
  11. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

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    Waiting till 9 pm our time for this. Past my 7-year-old's bedtime but, will have it on DVR for him. Carl Sagan's Cosmos made quite an impression on me when I was little but, it didn't quite work for my son when I found it on Netflix last year. The original looks rather dated now.
     
  12. astrotoy

    astrotoy Member

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    I am really pleased that Cosmos has been resurrected with Neil Tyson. Carl Sagan was a young assistant professor at Harvard in the mid 60's when I was an undergraduate astronomy major - I think there were nine of us in the class of about 1600. He was doing research on planets (astrobiology) when just about no one else was. We were all interested in stars, galaxies, cosmology, not dinky planets. Dave Morrison was one of the few grad students working with Sagan and he became well known in the field and now is head of the SETI Institute. Dave was one of my TA's in our junior year astronomy major's course. At the time Sagan was divorced and living with Linda Saltzman, who would become his second wife, and important for the future planetary explorations of the '70's would design the plaque of the Voyager space craft. The rumor among us undergraduates was that Sagan didn't get tenure (he left for Cornell our senior year) was for three reasons - he was not doing research in an important field - planets, he was living with a woman to whom he was not married, and he drove a convertible. Obviously, the decade of planetary exploration and sexual revolution would prove the old line Harvard professors wrong.

    Sagan had already began to do the popularization of science and astronomy with a wonderful book called "Intelligent Life in the Universe", which he wrote in partnership with a Soviet astronomer, Joseph Shklovskii. Sagan, who was fluent in Russian was sent the book to translate for publication in the West. He found it so interesting that he started adding material to it. By the time he was finished, the book had doubled in size. He never met Shklovskii in person during the collaboration. Even though it was a mass market book, I used it for several years as the text for my beginning astronomy course. This was more than a decade before Cosmos.

    In college, Sagan did not teach any undergraduate astronomy courses for majors, so I never took a course from him. However he did teach an upper division general education course for non science majors which fulfilled our breadth requirements. It was called "The Planets, their Environments and Inhabitants." This was around 1965, and one of my roommates, an English major who became a lawyer took the course and thoroughly enjoyed it. I remember walking by his office in the astronomy building and it was full of gear like a chemistry lab - not like the typical astronomy professor's office.
     
  13. RDoc

    RDoc S85D

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    In general I'm not a big fan on Tyson or most TV science shows, but I must say I really enjoyed Cosmos. I think they're going to get some flack though.
     
  14. Seattle

    Seattle Member

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    Why do you think they'll get flack? I liked it. When I was a young teenager, cosmos was an incredible thing for me, truly a revelation.

    Thinking about how hungry I was for science information in the 70s, it would be hard to tell my son about how the world has changed, there is so much information easily available about the world today. Maybe there is something to that idea about accelerating growth of knowledge. :)
     
  15. GlennAlanBerry

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    I suspect they will get some flack for telling the story of Giordano Bruno, whom the Catholic church burned at the stake for being a heretic.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giordano_Bruno

    I can also see the creationist people getting upset because they talk about the Universe being about 13 billion years old, instead of 5000 years old. They also talk about evolution.
     
  16. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Nothing wrong with telling the truth. I'm sure they can ignore the flack.
     
  17. Zythryn

    Zythryn MS 70D, MX 90D

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    I would rephrase that...
    Nothing wrong with telling what the evidence shows, and experiments support.

    That is the scientific method after all:smile:
     
  18. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Nice. +rep for that!
     
  19. GlennAlanBerry

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    From what I can tell, at least some conservatives and some very religious people are not too happy about the first episode of Cosmos, for various reasons. These seem to be the main things that they did not like.

    1. President Obama introduced the first episode
    2. The Catholic Church of 400-500 years ago was portrayed in a negative light
    3. Evolution is discussed at length
    4. There was some reference about the negative impact that Europeans had on North and South America when they showed up 400-500 years ago.
    5. There was some reference to the harm that burning fossil fuels is doing to the environment
    6. Science and the scientific method are glorified

    I think the first episode was quite good, and they played things in a pretty non-controversial tone.
     

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