Wednesday, March 04, 2015 - 9:36:59 PM

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Sagan's Influence Still Felt as Cosmos Relaunches

FOX Network's remake of the series Cosmos is bringing new attention to the man behind the ground breaking original series in 1980, late Cornell professor Carl Sagan. In addition to the Cosmos series, Sagan's legacy lives here - at the Sciencecenter in Ithaca.

"To Carl, science was not a collection of facts you study out of a textbook. Science was a process of hearing about the world. It was an active thing."

Sagan was an advisor to the Sciencecenter early in its history and his influence is still felt in the exhibits.

"Many of our exhibits are much more oriented toward the process of science, toward discovery, toward experimentation, toward coming up with a question and try to answer," said Trautmann.

According to Trautmann, Sagan wanted people to experience science and not just absorb facts and figures about the world around them.

"We should have exhibits that are active, that allow children and their families to actually do science," said Trautmann.

Sagan's students at Cornell include some of today's most popular and influential scientists, including Bill Nye, and one of his last, Steve Squyres. 

Squyres is NASA's Principal Investigator on the Mars Rover project. He shares space with Sagan on the Sciencecenter's Wall of Inspiration - part of the scientific progress from one generation to the next.

"We can dig deeper into the mysteries of the universe through the technology that we have. So the science feeds the technology, the technology feeds back into science. And that to me is what is so exciting is that we can learn more about the universe, our place in it and hopefully the history of life," said Trautmann.

Cosmos airs on FOX starting Sunday night at 9 PM.

****In Ithaca, Jason Weinstein, FOX 40 HD News****

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