We are all connected; To each other, biologically. To the earth, chemically. To the rest of the universe atomically.
For me, I am driven by two main philosophies: know more today about the world than I knew yesterday and lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you.
I know that the molecules in my body are traceable to phenomena in the cosmos. That makes me want to grab people on the street and say: ‘Have you HEARD THIS?
Down there between our legs, it’s like an entertainment complex in the middle of a sewage system. Who designed that?
My view is that if your philosophy is not unsettled daily then you are blind to all the universe has to offer.
God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance.
Where ignorance lurks, so too do the frontiers of discovery and imagination
I would request that my body in death be buried not cremated, so that the energy content contained within it gets returned to the earth, so that flora and fauna can dine upon it, just as I have dined upon flora and fauna during my lifetime
In 5-billion years the Sun will expand & engulf our orbit as the charred ember that was once Earth vaporizes. Have a nice day.
The more I learn about the universe, the less convinced I am that there’s any sort of benevolent force that has anything to do with it, at all.
… there is no shame in not knowing. The problem arises when irrational thought and attendant behavior fill the vacuum left by ignorance.
Curious that we spend more time congratulating people who have succeeded than encouraging people who have not.
We spend the first year of a child’s life teaching it to walk and talk and the rest of its life to shut up and sit down. There’s something wrong there.
If you removed all the arteries, veins, & capillaries from a person’s body, and tied them end-to-end…the person will die.
The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.
There’s as many atoms in a single molecule of your DNA as there are stars in the typical galaxy. We are, each of us, a little universe.
Kids are never the problem. They are born scientists. The problem is always the adults. They beat the curiosity out of kids. They outnumber kids. They vote. They wield resources. That’s why my public focus is primarily adults.
When scientifically investigating the natural world, the only thing worse than a blind believer is a seeing denier.
I want to put on the table, not why 85% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences reject God, I want to know why 15% of the National Academy don’t.
As a child, I was aware that, at night, infrared vision would reveal monsters hiding in the bedroom closet only if they were warm-blooded. But everybody knows that your average bedroom monster is reptilian and cold-blooded.
Once upon a time, people identified the god Neptune as the source of storms at sea. Today we call these storms hurricanes…. The only people who still call hurricanes acts of God are the people who write insurance forms.
The Universe was opaque until 380.000 years after the Big Bang.
The good thing about the laws of physics is that they require no law enforcement agencies to maintain them
We are stardust brought to life, then empowered by the universe to figure itself out—and we have only just begun.
People who believe they are ignorant of nothing have neither looked for, nor stumbled upon, the boundary between what is known and unknown in the universe.
…people taking the time and energy to ask about what they do not understand – I have renewed hope that society can shed its superstitions and embrace the enlightenment that comes from just a basic understanding of how the universe works.
There are more stolen bikes in my garage than there are stars in the galaxy.
I fear living a life where I could have accomplished something and didn’t. That’s what I fear. I don’t fear death.
Don’t know if it’s good or bad that a Google search on “Big Bang Theory” lists the sitcom before the origin of the Universe
… and I submit to you, that science, scientific discovery, especially cosmic discovery, does not become mainstream until the artist embraces the fruits of those discoveries.
You know that passage in the Bible that says, “And the meek shall inherit the Earth”? Always wondered if that was mistranslated. Perhaps it actually says, “And the geek shall inherit the Earth.
When students cheat on exams it’s because our school system values grades more than students value learning.
Dinosaurs are extinct today because they lacked opposable thumbs and the brainpower to build a space program.
The urge to want some bit of information to be true often clouds our ability to assess why that information may be false.
It’s okay not to know all the answers. It’s better to admit our ignorance than to believe answers that might be wrong. Pretending to know everything closes the door to finding out what’s already there.
To learn that it’s easier to be told by others what to think and believe than it is to think for yourself.
Ignorance is a virus. Once it starts spreading, it can only be cured by reason. For the sake of humanity, we must be that cure.
The Universe is under no obligation to make sense to you.
The more of us that feel the universe, the better off we will be in this world.
Science literacy is an important part of what it is to be an informed citizen of society.
Science, enabled by engineering, empowered by NASA, tells us not only that we are in the universe but that the universe is in us. And for me, that sense of belonging elevates, not denigrates, the ego.
I look forward to the day when the solar system becomes our collective backyard—explored not only with robots, but with the mind, body, and soul of our species.
Some people think emotionally more often than they think politically. Some think politically more often than they think rationally. Others never think rationally about anything at all.No judgment implied. Just an observation.
Science literacy is being plugged into the forces that power the universe. There is no excuse for thinking that the Sun, which is a million times the size of Earth, orbits Earth.
If the whole world shared such experiences, we would then have common dreams and everybody could begin thinking about tomorrow. And if everybody thinks about tomorrow, then someday we can visit the sky together.
Unlike what you may be told in other sectors of life, when observing the universe, size does matter, which often leads to polite ‘telescope envy’ at gatherings of amateur astronomers.
I’d ask [God] why he keeps trying to kill us all with disease, pestilence, and natural disasters. I’d ask why 99% of all species there ever were are now extinct — if God works in mysterious ways, that way is mysteriously genocidal.
Some of the greatest poetry is revealing to the reader the beauty in something that was so simple you had taken it for granted.
The cosmic perspective not only embraces our genetic kinship with all life on Earth but also values our chemical kinship with any yet-to-be discovered life in the universe, as well as our atomic kinship with the universe itself.
When you organize extraordinary missions, you attract people of extraordinary talent who might not have been inspired by or attracted to the goal of saving the world from cancer or hunger or pestilence.
Doing what has never been done before is intellectually seductive, whether or not we deem it practical.
The less evidence we have for what we believe is certain, the more violently we defend beliefs against those who don’t agree.
A bullet fired level from a gun will hit ground at same time as a bullet dropped from the same height. Do the Physics.
In some ways, we are traveling in time now. We just happened to be prisoners of the present in the eternal transition from the past to the future.
Dreams about the future are always filled with gadgets.
If you get asteroids about a kilometer in size, those are large enough and carry enough energy into our system to disrupt transportation, communication, the food chains, and that can be a really bad day on Earth.
Space exploration is a force of nature unto itself that no other force in society can rival.
Space only becomes ordinary when the frontier is no longer being breached.
Space enthusiasts are the most susceptible demographic to delusion that I have ever seen.
If you want a nation to have space exploration ambitions, you’ve got to send humans.
Space in general gave us GPS – that’s not specifically NASA, but it’s investments in space.
As a scientist, I want to go to Mars and back to asteroids and the Moon because I’m a scientist. But I can tell you, I’m not so naive a scientist to think that the nation might not have geopolitical reasons for going into space.
Private enterprise can never lead a space frontier. It’s not possible because a space frontier is expensive, it has unknown risks and it has unquantified risks.
There are a lot of things you can do in space, and space essentially is unlimited resources. We are climbing over ourselves here looking for the next source of energy. The universe has an unlimited source of energy.
There’s a lot to do in space. I want to learn more about the greenhouse effect on Venus, about whether there was life on Mars, about the environment in which Earth and the Sun is immersed, the behavior of the Sun.
Computers have proved to be formidable chess players. In fact, they’ve beaten our top human chess champions.
I’m not as famous as Stephen Hawking, but certainly in the U.S., I have a very high profile for a scientist. It is an awesome responsibility, one that I don’t shoulder lightly.
Even with all our technology and the inventions that make modern life so much easier than it once was, it takes just one big natural disaster to wipe all that away and remind us that, here on Earth, we’re still at the mercy of nature.
The very nature of science is discoveries, and the best of those discoveries are the ones you don’t expect.
Science is basically an inoculation against charlatans.
Science literacy is the artery through which the solutions of tomorrow’s problems flow.
Carl Sagan spoke fluently between biology and geology and astrophysics and physics. If you move fluently across those boundaries, you realize that science is everywhere; science is not something you can step around or sweep under the rug.
All the traditional STEM fields, the science, technology, engineering, and math fields, are stoked when you dream big in an agency such as NASA.
If God is the mystery of the universe, these mysteries, we’re tackling these mysteries one by one. If you’re going to stay religious at the end of the conversation, God has to mean more to you than just where science has yet to tread.
What are we promoting in society? Well-behaved automatons that spew back what they learned in a book. That’s not science. You can get a parrot to do that.
I’m often asked by parents what advice can I give them to help get kids interested in science? And I have only one bit of advice. Get out of their way. Kids are born curious. Period.
While I’m a big fan of science fiction, especially as rendered in expensive Hollywood blockbusters, it’s the real universe that calls to me.
I’m on a crusade to get movie directors to get their science right because, more often than they believe, the science is more extraordinary than anything they can invent.
I can’t tell you how many people say they were turned off from science because of a science teacher that completely sucked out all the inspiration and enthusiasm they had for the course.
For me at age 11, I had a pair of binoculars and looked up to the moon, and the moon wasn’t just bigger, it was better. There were mountains and valleys and craters and shadows. And it came alive.
What people are really after is, what is my stance on religion or spirituality or God? And I would say, if I find a word that came closest, it would be agnostic.
I know of no time in human history where ignorance was better than knowledge.
In the animal kingdom, one of the keys to survival is to outwit your enemies. And when you’re surrounded by carnivores, one of the best strategies is to fade into the background and disappear.
Although I’m not actually embarrassed by this, I tend not to read books that have awesome movies made from them, regardless of how well or badly the movie represented the actual written story.
There is no greater education than one that is self-driven.
One of my great laments is that education today seems to have… be less about passion and more about process, more about tactic or technique.
Perhaps we’ve never been visited by aliens because they have looked upon Earth and decided there’s no sign of intelligent life.
We explore our environment, more than we are compelled to utter poetry, when we’re toddlers. We start doing that later. Before that happens, every child is a scientist.
Passion is what gets you through the hardest times that might otherwise make strong men weak, or make you give up.
The universe is almost 14 billion years old, and, wow! Life had no problem starting here on Earth! I think it would be inexcusably egocentric of us to suggest that we’re alone in the universe.
I think the greatest of people that have ever been in society, they were never versions of someone else. They were themselves.
We live in the kind of society where, in almost all cases, hard work is rewarded.