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  • Cosmos
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Cosmos est le projet d'une vie. Mieux d'un destin. Celui de Carl Sagan, concepteur et promoteur des programmes spatiaux Voyager (le message gravé sur le flanc de la sonde destinée aux extra terrestres)et Viking (les premières sondes sur Mars), inventeur d'une nouvelle discipline scientifique : l'exobiologie ou étude des forme de vies non-terrestres.

Cosmos, décliné dans une superbe série télévisée de vulgarisation scientifique Cosmos Boxed Set (Collector's Edition) [Import USA Zone 1] et sous forme de livre, condense la pensée et les convictions de l'auteur : la vie est un phénomène universelle, son ingéniosité dictée par les lois de la sélection naturelle, le génie d'une poignée d'hommes attachée à la découverte de ses mystères, admirables.

Une ouverture sur l'histoire des sciences : Eratostène et la première mesure de la circonférence terrestre, les lois de Kepler, la décomposition du spectre lumineux par Newton, la mesure des effets de la vitesse de la lumière par Einstein. Autant de sujet arides traités avec un profond sens du récit et du merveilleux. Les illustrations, point fort de l'ouvrage, ouvrent sur des champs d'imaginaire : les vies possibles dans les strates de méga planètes gazeuses, la plongée au coeur de l'hélice de l'ADN.

Une oeuvre invitant à l'émerveillement. L'ambition avouée de changer le regard que nous portons sur le monde et à changer la vie des lecteurs (voir le trés beau site des ayant droits de Carl Sagan). Un ouvrage aussi instructif que poétique. Fait suffisament rare pour mériter d'être souligné.
0Commentaire| 6 personnes ont trouvé cela utile. Ce commentaire vous a-t-il été utile ?OuiNonSignaler un abus
IL s'agit d'un livre un peu ancien certes mais il incite à la rêverie. Carl Sagan explique l'univers de sa naissance à la colonisation extra-terrestre. C'est (ou c'était) un formidable vulgarisateur. L'ouvrage est superbement illustré de vues d'artistes.
0Commentaire| 3 personnes ont trouvé cela utile. Ce commentaire vous a-t-il été utile ?OuiNonSignaler un abus
le 20 décembre 2012
This is the third book that I've read about the Universe; the first one by Bill Bryson was a little bit too general (but funnier), the second by Hawking was a bit out of my league, and Dr Sagan's book is maybe the one that suits me the best. It covers all the knowledge that you might want to learn about the cosmos in a way that everyone can understand.

The negative points are that it might be a bit outdated (but it's still a classic!) and that the stunning photos included in the paperback are not present in the kindle version (the hardcover version deserves at least one more star).
0Commentaire| Une personne a trouvé cela utile. Ce commentaire vous a-t-il été utile ?OuiNonSignaler un abus
How many people who watched the 'Cosmos' series on television (PBS in America - perhaps the best astronomy and general science series ever produced by them) could ever forget Carl Sagan's intonation at proclaiming the wonders of the universe in grand terms, billions and billions of stars and galaxies and planets (and consequently, everything else).
While this book was published in 1980 to be a companion to the television series, there is nonetheless a certain timelessness about it. Many science texts (even general readers such as this) become dated fairly quickly. Yet this book remains a volume to which I refer time and again for its history, philosophy and insight into scientific method and personality.
This book more than anything provided the inspiration for me to study astronomy. While I did not take a degree in it (when I arrived at university I was informed that I had already studied more than their undergraduate curriculum provided; that I should take some physics and mathematics courses and then take a Master's degree later if interested--which may happen after the my current degree progress is completed), my interest in astronomy has remained strong and permeates many of my other interests, including my current work in theology and philosophy.
The visual presentation of this book is stunning. Pictures, particularly those from telescopes, space probes, and dramatic artistic renderings of phenomena not yet captured on film give a real feel for the subject.
Sagan begins the book with a grand tour of the universe, starting at the outermost edges with quasars and unknowns, and travelling back through galaxies and stars, passing interesting objects such as nebulae, black holes, stellar nurseries, planetary systems, finally to arrive back on earth, the unique planet (from our perspective) because it has life.
From here, Sagan goes back in history to the great library of Alexandria, which remains an object of fascination (current archaeological excavations continue in Alexandria, and there are various plans for memorialising the library). He introduces early efforts at scientific method and investigation by discussing Eratosthenes, a librarian who investigated reports in the various texts for himself, rather than taking things at face value.
Chapters include explorations of planetary astronomy, with special attention to Mars; stellar astronomy and the life cycle of stars; issues of space and time; issues of observation and epistemology (how do we know what we know, and why do we think we know it?); the origin and fate of the universe; the idea of life on other planets (Sagan confesses to a prejudice--the idea that life must be based on carbon, and not other elements); and the idea of SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) which due to Sagan's work and influence continues today in various ways around the globe. Finally, Sagan discusses the politics of science (and politics in general) giving a cautious hope for the fate of the earth--this was the height of the Cold War, after all.
'We are the local embodiment of a Cosmos grown to self-awareness. We have begun to contemplate our origins: starstuff pondering the stars; organised assemblages of ten billion billion billion atoms considering the evolution of atoms; tracing the long journey which, here at least, consciousness arose. Our loyalties are to the species and the planet. We speak for Earth. Our obligation to survive is owed not just to ourselves but also to that Cosmos, ancient and vast, from which we spring.'
Intelligent, written with grace and humour, the narrative is largely non-technical but not condescending and lends itself well to understanding.
0Commentaire|Ce commentaire vous a-t-il été utile ?OuiNonSignaler un abus
How many people who watched the 'Cosmos' series on television (PBS in America - perhaps the best astronomy and general science series ever produced by them) could ever forget Carl Sagan's intonation at proclaiming the wonders of the universe in grand terms, billions and billions of stars and galaxies and planets (and consequently, everything else).
While this book was published in 1980 to be a companion to the television series, there is nonetheless a certain timelessness about it. Many science texts (even general readers such as this) become dated fairly quickly. Yet this book remains a volume to which I refer time and again for its history, philosophy and insight into scientific method and personality.
This book more than anything provided the inspiration for me to study astronomy. While I did not take a degree in it (when I arrived at university I was informed that I had already studied more than their undergraduate curriculum provided; that I should take some physics and mathematics courses and then take a Master's degree later if interested--which may happen after the my current degree progress is completed), my interest in astronomy has remained strong and permeates many of my other interests, including my current work in theology and philosophy.
The visual presentation of this book is stunning. Pictures, particularly those from telescopes, space probes, and dramatic artistic renderings of phenomena not yet captured on film give a real feel for the subject.
Sagan begins the book with a grand tour of the universe, starting at the outermost edges with quasars and unknowns, and travelling back through galaxies and stars, passing interesting objects such as nebulae, black holes, stellar nurseries, planetary systems, finally to arrive back on earth, the unique planet (from our perspective) because it has life.
From here, Sagan goes back in history to the great library of Alexandria, which remains an object of fascination (current archaeological excavations continue in Alexandria, and there are various plans for memorialising the library). He introduces early efforts at scientific method and investigation by discussing Eratosthenes, a librarian who investigated reports in the various texts for himself, rather than taking things at face value.
Chapters include explorations of planetary astronomy, with special attention to Mars; stellar astronomy and the life cycle of stars; issues of space and time; issues of observation and epistemology (how do we know what we know, and why do we think we know it?); the origin and fate of the universe; the idea of life on other planets (Sagan confesses to a prejudice--the idea that life must be based on carbon, and not other elements); and the idea of SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) which due to Sagan's work and influence continues today in various ways around the globe. Finally, Sagan discusses the politics of science (and politics in general) giving a cautious hope for the fate of the earth--this was the height of the Cold War, after all.
'We are the local embodiment of a Cosmos grown to self-awareness. We have begun to contemplate our origins: starstuff pondering the stars; organised assemblages of ten billion billion billion atoms considering the evolution of atoms; tracing the long journey which, here at least, consciousness arose. Our loyalties are to the species and the planet. We speak for Earth. Our obligation to survive is owed not just to ourselves but also to that Cosmos, ancient and vast, from which we spring.'
Intelligent, written with grace and humour, the narrative is largely non-technical but not condescending and lends itself well to understanding.
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le 19 juillet 2011
Il y a déjà quelques lustres j'ai été fan de cette série, ensuite j'allais à la biliothèque municipale pour lire le livre traduit à l'espagnol, maintenant j'ai la chance d'avoir la version en anglais de l'original et c'est un pur plaisir de retrouver les explications du grand Carl Sagan sur notre humble place dans le Cosmos. Bien que d'occasion le livre est intact mais avec l'allure automnale des livres de sagesse
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le 20 février 2016
Un Vrai condensé d'Histoire des Sciences (traitant des Hommes, de la Biologie, Géologie...etc et bien sûr d'Astronomie) narré par l'Astrophysicien Neil DeGrasse Tyson actuellement en poste à l'American Museum of Natural History de New York.

Durant pas moins de 13 épisodes d'une quarantaine de minutes chacun, ce documentaire est d'une justesse en terme de vulgarisation, un Voyage au sein des Connaissances Actuelles et A venir ainsi que des questions que l'Humanité devrait se poser aujourd'hui (Pour la partie Philosophique).

La version actuelle en Blu-ray (4 disques), bien que plus qualitative dans sa version, n'offre que la V.O. (Avec sous-titres toutefois disponibles) sur la plupart des épisodes. Donc si vous êtes réfractaires à la langue de Shakespeare, penchez plutôt vers la version DVD.

Excellente Découverte!
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le 17 février 2014
Quel livre !
Ceci est l'ultime livre de vulgarisation . J'ai rarement lu quelque chose de plus divertissant , clair, enthousiaste , intelligent , instructif, etc.
Je ne vais pas mentir , je suis un grand fan de Carl Sagan et j'ai maintenant lu une petite dizaine de ses livres .

Ce livre touche à tout . relie de nombreux sujets et en fait un sens universel.
Histoire, ancienne, science Ionienne , planétologie , cosmologie , etc tout est dans ce livre . Bien sûr, pas dans les détails mais assez pour faire de vous un apprenti philosophe .
Sagan est à ma connaissance inégalé en prose et en pédagogie . La façon dont il explique les choses les plus compliquées est merveilleuse .

Globalement probablement le livre parfait pour avoir sur une île déserte .
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le 6 mars 2014
Comme disait Carl Sagan, nous vivons dans un monde si profondément dépendent de la science et la technologie dans lequel pratiquement personne ne connaît quoi que ce soit de la science ou la technologie. Ce livre, qui est basé sur la série scientifique culte de 1980, est un must. Très accessible et un véritable plaisir à lire. Un excellent moyen d'ouvrir son esprit sur la science, son évolution, l'astronomie, la philosophie et l'humanisme.
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le 8 mai 2013
Quite comprehensive book, moving between scientific explanations giving us a history of the universe, galaxies, stars, our sun, the earth, etc and a history of science itself. The author also expresses opinions and ideas about humanity, which clearly date from the cold war era, but which still resonate today.
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