30 March 2010

Is Brian Cox The Next Carl Sagan?? My Vote is YES.

Posted by Dan Satterfield

Brian Cox host of "Wonders of The Solar System" on BBC Two. Image from the beeb.

Dr. Brian Cox.

Rock band musician and physicist. No, really. He played in the rock band DARE with Thin Lizzy’s Darren Wharton.

If you’re in the UK and have not seen Wonders of The Solar System on BBC Two, then fire up the iPlayer and watch it. All four episodes that have aired are just superb.

They are the only TV productions I’ve seen about astronomy that equals or surpasses the great Carl Sagan’s COSMOS. Episode two on Saturn’s rings is in itself equal or better than any COSMOS episode.

The world of science desperately needs a replacement to Carl Sagan these days. There is an open war on science among some political groups. The overwhelming consensus among scientists on such subjects as climate change and the age of the Earth is being ridiculed by those with a political viewpoint to trumpet.  Urged on by only a tiny handful of academics.

Click the image to see a 5 minute clip from "Wonders" on the BBC website.

Brian Cox is anything but a nerdy science guy. He has a way with words. His on camera presence is comfortable and unique.

Sagan was actually looked down upon in some quarters of the science community for being so famous. It just wasn’t “scientific” some thought.

This mistake should not happen again. The silly claims about climate science recently by those ignorant of how science works should be a potent reminder. Science needs a champion right now. Someone the public can latch onto. Someone who can make the case that knowledge for the sake of knowledge is important.

Hopefully these episodes will be bought by PBS and shown here in America soon. Remember that the next time your local PBS station is having a fund drive!