December 20th is here again–it’s now been a dozen years since my father passed. There are two things I’d like to share with you today:

First, is this wonderful cartoon adaptation of last year’s blog entry, created by the very talented Greg Williams for the Tampa Tribune.
Blogjam frequently takes real people’s stories and makes cartoons out of them–there are a number of fun ones, well worth checking out.

Second, I’m enormously proud to help spread the word about the Carl Sagan Exoplanet Fellowships.  NASA has created this program in my father’s name to “inspire the next generation of explorers seeking to learn more about planets, and possibly life, around other stars.”  Dad absolutely would have loved this–it would have meant so much to him.

Click here (or go to http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.govand click on video #1) for a video of John Morse, Bill Nye, and Neil deGrasse Tyson discussing the significance of these fellowships.

Ann Druyan writes movingly about NASA’s decision in her most recent blog entry at the Carl Sagan Portal.  An excerpt:

NASA’s science-driven mission portfolio, its cultivation of young talent to pursue cutting-edge research, and the decision to commit its genius to a question of transcendent cultural significance, would have thrilled Carl.


That this knowledge will be pursued in his name, as he joins Einstein and Hubble to form a triumvirate of the leading lights of 20th century astronomy, is a source of infinite pride to our family.  It signifies that Carl’s passion to engage us all in the scientific experience, his daring curiosity and urgent concern for life on this planet, no longer eclipse his scientific achievements.

The NASA/JPL site records 333 new worlds discovered as of this moment… and counting.   We are poised on the brink of cosmic citizenship, on coming to know something of the other planets in our galactic community.


There’s so much of outer space we’ve yet to explore, and I carry with me my dad’s excitement about the prospect of a new generation of scientists dedicating themselves to the discovery of unknown worlds.

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