‘Cosmos’ screening features ice cream and live Q&A with Ann Druyan

“Cosmos: A Personal Voyage” was the most-viewed series in American television history for a decade after its release in 1980. As its host, Carl Sagan inspired children and adults alike as he shared the wonders of the universe.

As part of their “Voyager Spacecraft Week,” the Cornell Astronomical Society (CAS) joins Cornell Cinema to present “Cosmos” Episode 6: “Traveler’s Tales” on Tuesday, Feb. 13. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. with Cosmos Swirl ice cream provided by Cornell Dairy; the screening begins at 7 p.m. After the showing, Emmy and Peabody award-winning writer/producer Ann Druyan, who co-wrote the “Cosmos” series with Carl Sagan and Steven Soter, will be present for a live Q&A.

Admission is free but tickets are limited; in case they are sold out, there will be a waiting line on the day of the event.

“Ann Druyan and Carl Sagan are my biggest inspirations as science communicators,” said Gillis Lowry ’24, CAS president and undergraduate fellow of the Carl Sagan Institute. “At Cornell, I’ve met lots of students and faculty who were similarly inspired—and so many people who are passionate about Prof. Sagan's legacy, who work so hard to take his and Ms. Druyan’s words to heart. I hope this event will let us all share these passions, as well as spark them anew!”

In addition to her work on “Cosmos” in 1980, Druyan was the writer and producer for the two newer seasons of “Cosmos” (“A Spacetime Odyssey” in 2014 and “Possible Worlds” in 2020). She has written and co-written dozens of books, television shows, and movies, including six books with Sagan and the film adaptation of “Contact.” She was also a member of the Voyager Golden Record team, which selected pictures, sounds, and music from Earth to cast out into space; her heartbeat and brain waves will roam the stars for millions of years.

“I continue to be inspired by how, with ‘Cosmos,’ Ann Druyan and Carl Sagan harnessed the power of film and television to share scientific research in accessible and engaging ways. Their ground-breaking work has sparked an interest in space exploration for so many, and I hope a new generation of Cornellians will be inspired by the chance to revisit the series at Cornell Cinema and hear from the remarkable Ann Druyan,” said Molly Ryan, director of Cornell Cinema.

In the “Traveler’s Tale” episode being screened, Sagan transports viewers to 17th century Holland, where Dutch explorers and astronomers found freedom to question the natural world. Later, the program explores the voyages of interplanetary spacecraft and their groundbreaking views of the outer planets.

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Jason Koski/Cornell University Ann Druyan, writer, producer and widow of Carl Sagan, speaks at the 2015 Inauguration of the Carl Sagan Institute: Pale Blue Dot and Beyond.