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  Cornell proposes Carl Sagan stamps

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Author Topic:   Cornell proposes Carl Sagan stamps
Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-14-2008 06:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Cornell University release
Proposed Carl Sagan commemorative stamps unveiled at Ithaca Sciencenter

A movement to immortalize famed Cornell astronomer Carl Sagan with a U.S. postage stamp was launched Feb. 11 for local media at the Ithaca Sciencenter.

Patrick Fish, founder of the Utica-based grassroots Sagan Appreciation Society, and Charles Trautmann, executive director of the Sciencenter, unveiled four renderings by three artists or artist teams of proposed Sagan memorial stamps that the society plans to submit to the U.S. Postal Service for commissioning.

"As Carl was America's science popularizer, it seems fitting that he be bestowed with a populist kind of honor," Fish said. "Carl wasn't just an astronomer, physicist and the world's pre-eminent science teacher. He was arguably the first exobiologist, one of the fathers of global-warming awareness, a peacemaker and a brilliant author who could make science sound like poetry."

Trautmann read a statement by Sagan's widow, author Ann Druyan, at the media launch. She described how Sagan had been an avid stamp collector as a boy and how that interest was perhaps early evidence of his "passion for the diversity of Earth's cultures."

"So this particular tribute to Carl would have held special significance for him, as it does for me," Druyan said in the statement.

The Sagan Appreciation Society initiated the process in 2007 when artists Greg Mort, Pat Linse, Lisa Hutter and Chris Fix began creating preliminary stamp designs.

The process for getting a stamp approved by the U.S. government is an arduous one, and there are no guarantees of success. Designs must be submitted and approved by a 14-member Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee, which meets four times per year. If approved, it can take years before the stamp is printed.

The Sciencenter will host a gala event, Feb. 28, its 25th anniversary celebration, during which the Sagan stamp designs will be unveiled officially to the public. Meanwhile, people are encouraged to begin petitioning the U.S. Postal Service for the stamp designation or to sign a petition through the Sagan Appreciation Society.

SRB
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posted 02-14-2008 11:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SRB   Click Here to Email SRB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great idea. He deserves the honor. I'll buy a sheet ot two.

medaris
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posted 02-15-2008 03:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for medaris   Click Here to Email medaris     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I enjoyed Sagan's TV work, and his SF was a reasonable effort - I'm not qualified to judge his science! Frank Borman sure didn't have anything good to say about him in his biography, 'though! He concluded 'I'll never forget or forgive him (Sagan) for that unpleasant evening at Cornell'. (Countdown, Silver Arrow Books 1988, pg 235-6). In fairness, I guess Frank Borman was never going to enjoy speaking at Cornell in the 1960's. He preferred some other schools, commenting dryly, 'Westpoint...was hospitable'.

Jay Chladek
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posted 02-16-2008 12:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It probably went back to the ole showdown between NASA and some scientists concerning manned spaceflight versus unmanned probes.

I know Sagan wasn't exactly a big fan of shuttle if anyone remembers the comments he made during the Discovery Channel's Space Shuttle documentary from 1995. He is right in some sense, but I would counter that if we were to wait to let man explore until we developed the difficult stuff first (such as say an engine that could allow us to travel faster to the planets or even other stars) then one misses the point of exploration. The natives of Micronesia didn't sit on the shore of their homeland waiting for somebody else to develop the fully stocked ship capable of many days travel to see what was out there. No, they set sail on little rafts anyway, casting themselves out on the ocean. Many didn't make it, but some did and they populated the southern pacific ocean in the process. That is the point of manned exploration...just do it! And who knows, in our stumbling and doing it wrong, we might find a way to do it right for once. But we won't know if we don't do it.

Oh well, I still like the fact that Carl helped to open my eyes somewhat with Cosmos from all those years ago, although admittedly some of it didn't really sink in until I watched it again years later as an adult. That to me makes him worthy of a stamp as he did much more then some of his collegues to ignite passion in others. I might disagree with Carl about current manned exploration efforts, but I still like the guy.

Hmmm, I wonder what the print run of such stamps would be? "Billions and billions" perhaps?

Philip
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posted 03-09-2008 11:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
YouTube: Carl Sagan Stamp Campaign Unveiled

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