Ann Druyan with Carl Sagan in 1988

Ann Druyan about Carl Sagan: “I don’t think I’ll ever see Carl again. But I saw him. We saw each other. We found each other in the cosmos, and that was wonderful”

Ann Druyan on her life with the late Carl Sagan: she shares an intimate perspective on their love, life, and the acceptance of finality without the comfort of belief in an afterlife. Her words offer a profound insight into their shared journey, a testament to the depth of their connection found not in the hereafter, but in the marvels of the cosmos and the reality of the time they had together.

“When my husband died, because he was so famous and known for not being a believer, many people would come up to me -it still sometimes happens- and ask me if Carl changed at the end and converted to a belief in an afterlife. They also frequently ask me if I think I will see him again.”

“Carl faced his death with unflagging courage and never sought refuge in illusions. The tragedy was that we knew we would never see each other again. I don’t ever expect to be reunited with Carl. But, the great thing is that when we were together, for nearly twenty years, we lived with a vivid appreciation of how brief and precious life is. We never trivialized the meaning of death by pretending it was anything other than a final parting.”

“Every single moment that we were alive and we were together was miraculous – not miraculous in the sense of inexplicable or supernatural. We knew we were beneficiaries of chance… That pure chance could be so generous and so kind… That we could find each other, as Carl wrote so beautifully in Cosmos, you know, in the vastness of space and the immensity of time… That we could be together for twenty years. That is something which sustains me and it’s much more meaningful…”

“The way he treated me and the way I treated him, the way we took care of each other and our family, while he lived. That is so much more important than the idea I will see him someday. I don’t think I’ll ever see Carl again. But I saw him. We saw each other. We found each other in the cosmos, and that was wonderful.”

Ann Druyan

Ann Druyan with Carl Sagan in 1988
Ann Druyan with Carl Sagan in 1988

Ann Druyan is an acclaimed writer, producer, and speaker, widely recognized for her work in popularizing science and her collaboration with her late husband, the renowned astronomer Carl Sagan (November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996). Born on June 13, 1949, Druyan’s contributions span various facets of science communication and exploration.

She co-wrote the 1980 PBS documentary series “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage” with Sagan and later developed “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” and “Cosmos: Possible Worlds.” Her work emphasizes the wonder of science and the human connection to the cosmos.

Druyan’s passionate advocacy for scientific knowledge and her efforts in promoting critical thinking and education have made her a respected figure in the scientific community. Her writings, which include books and articles, often reflect on topics like the search for extraterrestrial intelligence and the importance of scientific literacy in society.

An asteroid discovered in 1988 was named in Druyan’s honor by its discoverer, the American astronomer Eleanor F. Helin (19 November 1932 – 25 January 200). In a 2020 interview with Skeptical Inquirer (a bimonthly American general-audience magazine published by the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry), Druyan discussed 4970 Druyan and the asteroid named after her late husband, saying that 4970 Druyan is in a “wedding ring orbit” around the Sun with 2709 Sagan.

Druyan was presented with a plaque on Sagan’s sixtieth birthday, which is inscribed: “Asteroid 2709 Sagan in eternal companion orbit with asteroid 4970 Druyan, symbolic of their love and admiration for each other.”

Sources

M. Özgür Nevres

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