Carl Sagan is one of the most celebrated scientists of the modern world and was extremely influential in communicating science through the masses through his many books and the show Cosmos.
But not only is Sagan an extremely talented scientist and science communicator, he is also apparently very in tune with societal issues. In his last book before his untimely death, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, Sagan predicted the upheaval we are seeing in America now. Here is what he wrote:
I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time – when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness. The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30-second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance.Carl Sagan