Ann Druyan is an author, public lecturer, and TV and movie writer and producer whose work focuses on the worldview of science. She is the widow of Carl Sagan, the great astronomer and public advocate of science and reason. With him, she co-wrote the Emmy Award Winning and the Peabody Award Winning television series Cosmos. She served as Creative Director for NASA’s Voyager Interstellar Record Project, the goldern record on the Voyager Spacecrafts that includes visual images and music and she co-created and produced the movie Contact, which is based on the novel Contact that she co-wrote with Carl Sagan. She is also the author or co-author of several other books, including A Famous Broken Heart, and Comet, which was on the New York Times best seller list for two months. She edited the recent title, Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God, which is Carl Sagan’s last book.
In this wide-ranging discussion with D.J. Grothe, Druyan discusses the new book The Varieties of Scientific Experience, her relationship with Carl Sagan, science as an outlook on life, what Sagan called “informed worship,” the use of the word “spiritual” by nonreligious people, the humility of science, skepticism about politics and the paranormal, and the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence. She also explores the place of humanity in the cosmos, the relationship of science to religion, and whether they are compatible.