Sunday, July 19, 2009

Billions and Billions by Carl Sagan (1997)

Carl Sagan was a famous scientist, teacher, and writer of books and creator of the series Cosmos, creations that tried to popularize science and increase the concept of free and logical thinking. Carl Sagan died in 1996 of the disease myelodysplasia (Wikipedia), after a long medical treatment. This death was a great loss to science, given that Sagan died at the fairly young age of 62 (he probably had a number of books, lectures and television series still in him, something that would have done much more to popularize science). This book is composed of essays written by Carl Sagan on different subjects, and was published after his death by his widow Ann Druyan. The title of the book is a spoof on the term 'Billions and Billions', a term that was never uttered by Sagan, but which was used satirically in various ways including by TV standup comedians.

Billions and Billions (by Carl Sagan), published in 1997

Chapters of the book:

Part I: The Power and Beauty of Quantification
1. Billions and Billions
2. The Persian Chessboard
3. Monday Night Hunters
4. The Gaze of God and the Dripping Faucet
5. Four Cosmic Questions
6. So Many Suns, So Many Worlds

Part II: What Are Conservatives Conserving?
7. The World That Came In The Mail
8. The Environment: Where Does Prudence Lie?
9. Croesus and Cassandra
10. A Piece of the Sky Is Missing
11. Ambush: The Warming of the World
12. Escape from Ambush
13. Religion and Science: An Alliance

Part III: Where Hearts and Minds Collide
14. The Common Enemy
15. Abortion: Is It Possible to Be Both "Pro-Life" and "Pro-Choice"
16. The Rules of the Game
17. Gettysburg and Now
18. The Twentieth Century
19. In the Valley of the Shadow

The book is worth reading for the essays.

1 comment:

Anand said...

Please let me know from where you got the print edition of the books like Billions and Billions etc. I searched in Bangalore and i could get only Cosmos, Brocas Brain.