Ann Druyan
Ann Druyan
Born June 13, 1949 (1949-06-13) (age 62)
Queens, New York, U.S.
Known for Author, activist, producer

Ann Druyan (born June 13, 1949) is an American author and producer specializing in productions about cosmology and popular science. She made substantial contributions to the PBS documentary series, Cosmos, and was the wife of late scientist and educator, Carl Sagan.

Contents

Film career

Along with Carl Sagan and Steven Soter, Druyan was one of the writers for the television series Cosmos and a producer for the film Contact.

She is the CEO and co-founder of Cosmos Studios. In 2007, she was said[by whom?] to be working on an IMAX film on global warming as well as a sequel to Cosmos. In 2009, she released a series of podcasts entitled At Home in the Cosmos with Annie Druyan in which she describes in detail the life of husband Carl Sagan, her works, and their marriage.

In 2011, it was announced that she would be part of the writing and production teams for a sequel to Cosmos, Cosmos: A space-time Odyssey, which was expected to air in 2013.[1]

Career as an author

Druyan and Sagan co-wrote the books Comet, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, and sections of The Demon-Haunted World. She also wrote the updated introduction to Sagan's The Cosmic Connection, the epilogue to Billions and Billions, and her solo novel A Famous Broken Heart.

Druyan was responsible for the selection of music on the Voyager Golden Record for the solar system exploratory missions, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2. She also sponsored the Cosmos 1 spacecraft, which intended to demonstrate solar sail propulsion technology as a means of interstellar space travel. Unfortunately, The Cosmos 1 had a sub-orbital launch failure when the modified Soviet submarine missile used as a launch vehicle malfunctioned.

Activism

Druyan has served on the Board of Directors of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) for over 10 years,[2] and is also the current president of the NORML Foundation Board of Directors.[3]

Honors

In November 2006, Druyan was a speaker at Beyond Belief: Science, Religion, Reason and Survival.

In January 2007, she was a juror at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, responsible for selecting the winner of the Alfred P. Sloan Prize for films about science and technology.[4]

Religious and philosophical views

As an agnostic, Druyan holds that belief in a deity is not necessary to a healthy appreciation for life and a sense of unity with the universe.

In an interview with Joel Achenbach of the Washington Post, Druyan stated that her early interest in science stemmed from a fascination with Karl Marx. Achenbach commented that "She had, at the time, rather vaporous standards of evidence," a reference to her belief in the ancient astronauts of Erich von Daniken and the theories of Immanuel Velikovsky pertaining to the solar system.[5] Druyan freely acknowledged her past views but also asserted that they changed dramatically after marrying Carl Sagan.

Notable quotations

"It is a great tragedy that science, this wonderful process for finding out what is true, has ceded the spiritual uplift of its central revelations: the vastness of the universe, the immensity of time, the relatedness of all life, and life’s preciousness on our tiny planet."
—Ann Druyan interviewed by the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry[6]
"I really believe that the marijuana laws are a terrible injustice. They make no sense scientifically, ethically, legally, or any way. They cost a fortune to enforce and we incarcerate hundreds of thousands of people who have done nothing else, but possess or distribute marijuana. Maybe it's because I'm a child of the 60's and marijuana has been such a positive part of my life. I have never seen it as being addictive, having spent weeks, and months, and days of my life (and years) without using marijuana in any form. For me, it's a kind of a sacrament, something that should be used wisely and in the context of a loving family existence. There's a place for alcohol too, but there's no reason why adults shouldn't be allowed to do something which not only doesn't add harm to themselves or others, but is a way to enhance the beauty of life, the beauty of eating, of listening to music, of being with friends and family, of being with the one you love."
—Ann Druyan in the video podcast At Home in the Cosmos with Annie Druyan[7][dead link]
"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."
—Ann Druyan in the Notable Names Database, [8]
"I think the roots of this antagonism to science run very deep. They're ancient. We see them in Genesis, this first story, this founding myth of ours, in which the first humans are doomed and cursed eternally for asking a question, for partaking of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. It's puzzling that Eden is synonymous with paradise when, if you think about it at all, it's more like a maximum-security prison with twenty-four hour surveillance. It's a horrible place. Adam and Eve have no childhood. They awaken full-grown. What is a human being without a childhood? Our long childhood is a critical feature of our species. It differentiates us, to a degree, from most other species. We take a longer time to mature. We depend upon these formative years and the social fabric to learn many of the things we need to know."
—Ann Druyan interviewed by the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry[6]

Awards

  • 2004 Richard Dawkins Award

References

  1. ^ Seth MacFarlane to do sequel of Carl Sagan's 'Cosmos'; set to debut in 2013, New York Daily News, 2011-08-06.
  2. ^ "About NORML, Ann Druyan". http://norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=4493. Retrieved 2007-12-26. 
  3. ^ "About NORML Foundation, Ann Druyan (President)". http://norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=3439. Retrieved 2007-12-26. 
  4. ^ "2007 Sundance Film Festival Jurors". Sundance Film Festival. http://festival.sundance.org/2007/festival/jurors.aspx. Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  5. ^ Achenbach, Joel (1999). Captured by Aliens: the search for life and truth in a very large universe. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0684848562. pp. 95-6: "Her interest in science came primarily from her interest in the philosophy of Karl Marx. . . . Druyan herself had, at the time, rather vaporous standards of evidence for her many sundry beliefs (as she later acknowledged). She believed . . . that Immanuel Velikovsky in the 1950s had correctly deduced the truth about the solar system. . . . She believed in the ancient astronauts of Erich von Daniken."
  6. ^ a b Ann Druyan Talks About Science, Religion, Wonder, Awe ... and Carl Sagan, Skeptical Inquirer, Volume 27.6, November/December 2003.
  7. ^ Podjockey.com
  8. ^ Ann Druyan, Notable Names Database (NNDB). Retrieved: 2011-11-05.

External links


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