Ann Druyan — a Reflection Beyond Carl Sagan’s Cosmos TV Series

Ann Druyan & Carl Sagan
Ann Druyan — a Reflection Beyond Carl Sagan’s Cosmos TV Series

About Ann Druyan

Often identified as “Carl Sagan’s widow,” Ann Druyan is much more than that. Sagan and Druyan met at a dinner party back in 1974, a year after Sagan had become a famous figure with his first book called “The Cosmic Connection.” The couple formed an instant bond and soon collaborated on a science television show for kids. It’s a project that never reached fruition. The two had much greater success on their next collaboration — the Golden Records aboard NASA’s space probes Voyager 1 and 2.

Both Voyagers are currently headed out of the solar system. They are flying into interstellar space, and Sagan came up with the idea of including audio disks that are attached to both probes, carrying messages from Earth off to the stars. The odds that any extraterrestrial life will ever find the records are extremely low. Neither probe is projected to come within a trillion miles of another star system within the next few million years.

About the Show

The Cosmos TV show
Ann Druyan — a Reflection Beyond Carl Sagan’s Cosmos TV Series

Druyan worked with Sagan on the Cosmos TV show, on several of his books and their story that begat the movie Contact. Sagan died in 1996, but Druyan remained prolific. She worked with the Planetary Society to create Cosmos 1 — a spacecraft that is designed to sail on sunlight. It launched, but it was destroyed by a rocket malfunction. She’s the owner of Cosmos Studios, and she advises the Breakthrough Starshot projects and Breakthrough Message. She has written the new book Cosmos: Possible Worlds, which is a companion to the current television series.

When asked about the political and scientific changes since the last season of Cosmos in 2014 and how they affect the way she approaches the new version of the TV series, Druyan answered that she did that with a great sense of urgency. She began seeing the consequences of people’s disregard for the environment. She doesn’t want to harangue people and yell at them, but she wants to create a vision of a hopeful future that’s based on the courage and strength of our ancestors.

Ann Druyan wishes that more of us could have more fulfillment and be able to fully understand the beauty of life. When asked if 987 really people worked on the show, she confirmed that it’s in fact true. Everyone who interacted with the show was inspired about working on a TV show that they felt was meaningful.