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The art of cultivating science personalities

By Erik Nilsson | China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-17 07:52

The forum celebrated the release of the Chinese-language version of Cosmos-first published nearly four decades ago.

It's a book about science in which the "latest" discoveries are outdated. Yet it remains relevant.

Neil deGrasse Tyson remade the Cosmos TV series a few years ago to update the science.

For instance, black holes were theoretical when Cosmos came out. Now, we know there's one at the center of many galaxies-including a supermassive black hole around which our Milky Way curls.

But Sagan's particular personal popularity persists.

The smartphone stickers were created a few years ago and shared by people born long after he died. Why?

Largely it's because Sagan's scientific worldview survives beyond his life. It quests beyond updating our knowledge to the root of how we gain knowledge.

"Science is more than a body of knowledge. It's a way of thinking," he declared.

Mainstream Chinese society seems to agree. Then, why isn't Sagan a household name among Chinese? Why don't Chinese share Sagan memes with their friends on social media?

The translation of Cosmos is indeed a great stride forward, toward overcoming the historical, cultural and, especially, linguistic gaps.

This brings us to the third question-and its follow up-why hasn't China produced its own Carl Sagan-a popularscience communicator celebrated throughout the country and world? And how can it?

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