68th out of 287 books — 326 voters
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Intelligent Life in the Universe
The first popular and accurate discussion of natural evolution, origins of the universe, stars and planets. Collaboration between famous American Carl Sagan and world/famous Russian Astronomer, I.S. Shklovskii explaining the origins and life in the universe.
Paperback, 509 pages
Published November 16th 1998 by Emerson-Adams Press
(first published January 1st 1966)
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Best General Science Books
Boston Public Library: The 100 Most Influential Books of the 20th Century
66th out of 100 books — 88 voters
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Shklovsky's work is comprehensive and compelling. This is where Carl Sagan got his start - writing extensive foot-notes to Shklovsky's definitive exploration of the scientific and mathematical evidence for his conclusions that first, there almost certainly IS other intelligent life in the universe, and second, we will almost certainly never find them - and this was written before the expansion of the universe had been inferred.
The first part of this book is a popular introduction to astronomy and cosmology; as far as I can tell, it is accurate but dated: a lot of discoveries were made after this book came out: pulsars, gamma-ray bursts; cosmic microwave background radiation was discovered just before the book was published. Also, a lot of what we know about the Solar system was found by robot explorers such as the Voyagers, which then just began to fly. The book speculates that dinosaurs became extinct at the end of t ...more
Sep 07, 2013 John E. Branch Jr. rated it liked it
Read it in the late 70s, in the original hardcover edition from 1966 (apparently not even listed here at Goodreads), as background while preparing a review of Carl Sagan's 1979 popular-science book, Broca's Brain. This collaboration with Soviet astrophysicist Iosif Shklovsky, which was a revised, extended, and retitled version of a book Shklovsky had published in 1962, struck me when I read it—and still does—as scientifically much more serious and focused than what I was reviewing. And yet I can ...more
Well written, highly readable, but far too dated to be useful or even terribly interesting. It must have been fascinating in the late 60s, but I was left wondering how much of what they said has turned out in the long run to be even close to true. Some of the description of methodology has been interesting, though.
in 1934, scientist Carl Sagan was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. After earning bachelor and master's degrees at Cornell, Sagan earned a double doctorate at the University of Chicago in 1960. He became professor of astronomy and space science and director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies at Cornell University, and co-founder of the Planetary Society. A great popularizer of science, Sagan produced th ...moreMore about Carl Sagan...