Science geek Seth MacFarlane donates to Carl Sagan’s notes collection

November 12, 2013
Seth MacFarlane and author and producer Ann Druyan look at some examples of The Carl Sagan Papers at the Celebration Of Carl Sagan at The Library of Congress (Paul Morigi/Getty Images)
Seth MacFarlane and author Ann Druyan look at examples of The Carl Sagan Papers at The Library of Congress (Paul Morigi/Getty Images)

Did you know Seth MacFarlane was a science geek? The “Family Guy” creator and Oscar host was front and center Tuesday at the Library of Congress for the introduction of Carl Sagan’s papers to the national collection.

The astronomer’s papers — 798 boxes of documents meticulously saved since high school, including vast amounts of correspondence with other scientists and with ordinary people — are available for researchers under the name “Seth MacFarlane Collection of the Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan Archive.” MacFarlane landed in the title because he donated the money that allowed the library to purchase the papers from Druyan (Sagan’s widow), reports our colleague Joel Achenbach.

MacFarlane said he’s concerned that science literacy is fading. A couple of decades ago, he says, TV programs focused on space and other scientific topics, but now they’re more likely to be about witches, vampire and angels: “It’s all become a bunch of fluff. That is a symptom of the bizarre fear of science that’s taken hold.”

Also at the celebration of Sagan’s life and legacy: Bill Nye the Science Guy (a former Sagan student), presidential science adviser John Holdren and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, whom MacFarlane has tapped to narrate the updated version of “Cosmos,” debuting next year.

More Reliable Source: Justin Timberlake; Lady Gaga; Amy Robach;Sam Donaldson; Nancy Pelosi; John Lennon; Miriam Judd; Nelson Mandela

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Emily Yahr · November 12, 2013