During high school, well before the world-wide web with its bloggers and YouTube, out came a series Cosmos that I watched religiously. Back then you had to watch a show when it was aired and no skipping of commercials, though Cosmos was a PBS (public-broadcasting) show so it didn't have any. Cosmos was hosted by the late great Carl Sagan. While I don't remember the contents of the show so much, I do remember being quite inspired by it and the show surely played a role in my future life as a scientist.
I went to Cornell as an undergrad just a year after Cosmos' broadcast. Carl Sagan was a legend on campus, though I saw him just once, in a debate over Ronald Reagan's Star Wars plan. Sagan did have an amazing house looking out over the Ithaca gorge that you could see from the suspension bridge I crossed every day.
Now my younger daughter is in high school and Neil deGrasse Tyson takes on the difficult task of updating Cosmos for this new generation. Molly and I watched the first episode last night. (I'm still blown away we can watch when we want and skip the commercials.) It really brought back memories of the original show and I was really touched when Tyson talked about meeting Sagan as a high school student.
Tyson is giving a talk at Georgia Tech next month. Tickets went on sale yesterday and sold out within hours. Incredible to see the return of the scientific superstar.