Carl Sagan explores the evolution of human intelligence from the big bang, fifteen billion years ago, through today in this never-before-released archival lecture.
Show Notes The Leakey Foundation is 50 years old this year, and we’re celebrating this milestone by sharing rare, previously unreleased lectures from the Foundation’s archive. These talks are like a time machine that lets you hear from scientists in their own words and in their own voices - as they were making the discoveries that made them famous.
The first lecture in this "From the Archive" series is by Carl Sagan, the renowned astrophysicist and science communicator. He gave this Leakey Foundation lecture in 1977, around the time of the launch of the Voyager 1 space probe and five months before the release of his Pulitzer Prize-winning book Dragons of Eden… A book about human intelligence and the evolution of the brain.
In this talk, he explores the origins of life on earth and shares his thoughts on how we came to have brains that can attempt to comprehend the vastness of the universe.
About Carl Sagan
Carl Sagan served as the David Duncan Professor of Astronomy and Space Sciences and Director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies at Cornell University. He played a leading role in the Mariner, Viking, Voyager, and Galileo spacecraft expeditions, for which he received the NASA Medals for Exceptional Scientific Achievement and Distinguished Public Service. Sagan published more than 600 scientific papers and articles and was author, co-author or editor of more than 20 books. His Emmy and Peabody award-winning television series, Cosmos, became the most widely watched series in the history of American public television. The accompanying book, also called Cosmos, is one of the bestselling science books ever published in the English language. Dr. Sagan received the Pulitzer Prize, the Oersted Medal, and many other awards, including twenty honorary degrees for his contributions to science, literature, education, and the preservation of the environment.
The Leakey Foundation
Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding human origins research and outreach. The Leakey Foundation funds cutting-edge research about human evolution and human behavior.
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This season of Origin Stories is made possible by support from Dixon Long, Jeanne Newman, and Camilla Smith.
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Host and Series Producer: Meredith Johnson
Sound Engineer/Mix: Katie McMurran
Theme Music: Henry Nagle
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