Dr. Carl Sagan is the David Duncan Professor of Astronomy and Space Sciences and the Director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies at Cornell University. He played a leading role in the Mariner, Viking and Voyager expeditions to the planets, for which he received numerous awards including the NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement. His scientific research has enhanced mankind's understanding of the greenhouse effect on Venus, dust storms on Mars, the origin of life, and the search for life elsewhere.
Dr. Sagan is author, co-author or editor of more than 20 books, including The Dragons of Eden for which he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. His Emmy and Peabody Award winning television series Cosmos became the most widely watched science series in the history of American public television and has been seen in 60 countries by more than 400 million people. The accompanying book, also called Cosmos, is the best-selling science book ever published in the English language.
A longtime advocate for science and technology education, the ethical applications of science, and increased scientific literacy for the general public, Dr. Sagan has called IMSA "a gift from the people of Illinois to the human future." Dr. Sagan is a member of IMSA's National Advisory Board.
Sagan, Carl, "Comets and the Origin of Life" (1991). James R. Thompson Leadership Lectures. 5.