Ann Druyan

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Ann Druyan
Ann Druyan 1.jpg
Born (1949-06-13) June 13, 1949 (age 64)
Queens, New York, U.S.
Known for Author, activist, producer
Spouse(s) Carl Sagan (1981–1996; his death)
Children Alexandra Rachel "Sasha" Druyan Sagan (1982)
Samuel Democritus Druyan Sagan (1991)

Ann Druyan (/ˈdri.æn/ DREE-an;[1] born June 13, 1949) is an American author and producer specializing in productions about cosmology and popular science. She was a co-writer of the 1980 PBS documentary series Cosmos, hosted by the late Carl Sagan whom she married in 1981. She is the creator/producer/writer of the follow-up, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.

She was in charge of music selections that were included with the pioneer spacecraft, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2.

Personal life[edit]

Druyan was born in Queens, New York, the daughter of Pearl A. (Goldsmith) and Harry Druyan, who co-owned a knitware firm.[2][3][4] Druyan and Carl Sagan had two children together, Alexandra and Samuel.

Television and movie writing career[edit]

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson and Ann Druyan in Sydney

Druyan was one of the three writers of the TV series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, along with Carl Sagan and Steven Soter, and a producer for the motion picture Contact.

Druyan is the chief executive officer and the co-founder of Cosmos Studios. In 2009, she distributed a series of podcasts called At Home in the Cosmos with Annie Druyan in which she described her works, the life of her husband, Carl Sagan, and their marriage.

In 2011, it was announced that Druyan would be part of the writing and production teams for a sequel to Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, to be called Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, which began airing in March 2014.[5][6] Episodes will premiere on Fox and also air on National Geographic Channel on the same night.[7]

Career as an author[edit]

Druyan and Sagan cowrote the books Comet, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, and sections of The Demon-Haunted World. She also wrote the updated introduction to Sagan's book The Cosmic Connection, the epilogue of Billions and Billions, and her own novel, A Famous Broken Heart.

Druyan was responsible for the selection of the music on the Voyager Golden Record for the pioneering exploratory missions of the Solar SystemVoyager 1 and Voyager 2.

Activism[edit]

Druyan has served on the Board of Directors of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) for over 10 years and was president (2006-2010).[8][9]

Honors[edit]

In November 2006, Druyan was a speaker at Beyond Belief: Science, Religion, Reason and Survival.

In January 2007, she was a juror at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, responsible for selecting the winner of the Alfred P. Sloan Prize for films about science and technology.[10]

Religious and philosophical views[edit]

As an agnostic, Druyan holds that belief in a deity is not necessary to a healthy appreciation for life and a sense of unity with the universe.

In an interview with Joel Achenbach of the Washington Post, Druyan stated that her early interest in science stemmed from a fascination with Karl Marx. Achenbach commented that "She had, at the time, rather vaporous standards of evidence," a reference to her belief in the ancient astronauts of Erich von Däniken and the theories of Immanuel Velikovsky pertaining to the solar system.[11] Druyan freely acknowledged her past views and also asserted that they changed dramatically after marrying Carl Sagan.

Quotations[edit]

It is a great tragedy that science, this wonderful process for finding out what is true, has ceded the spiritual uplift of its central revelations: the vastness of the universe, the immensity of time, the relatedness of all life, and life’s preciousness on our tiny planet.

— Ann Druyan interviewed by the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry[12]

I really believe that the marijuana laws are a terrible injustice. They make no sense scientifically, ethically, legally, or any way. They cost a fortune to enforce and we incarcerate hundreds of thousands of people who have done nothing else, but possess or distribute marijuana. Maybe it's because I'm a child of the 60's and marijuana has been such a positive part of my life. I have never seen it as being addictive, having spent weeks, and months, and days of my life (and years) without using marijuana in any form. For me, it's a kind of a sacrament, something that should be used wisely and in the context of a loving family existence. [...] There's a place for alcohol too, but there's no reason why adults shouldn't be allowed to do something which not only doesn't add harm to themselves or others, but is a way to enhance the beauty of life, the beauty of eating, of listening to music, of being with friends and family, of being with the one you love.

— Ann Druyan – from her video podcast At Home in the Cosmos with Annie Druyan[13]

When my husband died, because he was so famous and known for not being a believer, many people would come up to me-it still sometimes happens-and ask me if Carl changed at the end and converted to a belief in an afterlife. They also frequently ask me if I think I will see him again. Carl faced his death with unflagging courage and never sought refuge in illusions. The tragedy was that we knew we would never see each other again. I don't ever expect to be reunited with Carl. But, the great thing is that when we were together, for nearly twenty years, we lived with a vivid appreciation of how brief and precious life is. We never trivialized the meaning of death by pretending it was anything other than a final parting. Every single moment that we were alive and we were together was miraculous-not miraculous in the sense of inexplicable or supernatural. We knew we were beneficiaries of chance. . . . That pure chance could be so generous and so kind. . . . That we could find each other, as Carl wrote so beautifully in Cosmos, you know, in the vastness of space and the immensity of time. . . . That we could be together for twenty years. That is something which sustains me and it’s much more meaningful. . . . The way he treated me and the way I treated him, the way we took care of each other and our family, while he lived. That is so much more important than the idea I will see him someday. I don't think I'll ever see Carl again. But I saw him. We saw each other. We found each other in the cosmos, and that was wonderful.

— Ann Druyan interviewed by the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry[12]

I think the roots of this antagonism to science run very deep. They're ancient. We see them in Genesis, this first story, this founding myth of ours, in which the first humans are doomed and cursed eternally for asking a question, for partaking of the fruit of the "Tree of Knowledge". It's puzzling that Eden is synonymous with paradise when, if you think about it at all, it's more like a maximum-security prison with twenty-four hour surveillance. It's a horrible place. Adam and Eve have no childhood. They awaken full-grown. What is a human being without a childhood? Our long childhood is a critical feature of our species. It differentiates us, to a degree, from most other species. We take a longer time to mature. We depend upon these formative years and the social fabric to learn many of the things we need to know.

— Ann Druyan interviewed by the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry[12]

Awards[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ In the revised edition of Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, Ann Druyan introduces herself in a prologue to Episode No. 1.
  2. ^ "On the trail of the meaning of life". Toronto Star. 28 November 1992. p. J.8. 
  3. ^ "Paid Notice: Deaths DRUYAN, PEARL A. (NEE GOLDSMITH)". NYTimes. May 1, 2005. Retrieved February 27, 2013. 
  4. ^ Davidson, Keay; Sagan, Carl (1999-09-13). Carl Sagan: A life. ISBN 9780471252863. 
  5. ^ Vergano, Dan (2012-10-20). "Neil deGrasse Tyson tweets for science literacy". USA Today. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  6. ^ "neiltyson". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2012-06-22 
  7. ^ Wallenstein, Andrew. "TCA: Fox aims for repeat-free sked". Variety. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  8. ^ "About NORML, Ann Druyan". Archived from the original on 13 December 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-26. 
  9. ^ "About NORML Foundation, Ann Druyan (President)". Archived from the original on Aug 13, 2010. Retrieved 2007-12-26. 
  10. ^ "2007 Sundance Film Festival Jurors". Sundance Film Festival. Archived from the original on 7 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  11. ^ Achenbach, Joel (1999). Captured by Aliens: the search for life and truth in a very large universe. New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 95–6. ISBN 0-684-84856-2. "Her interest in science came primarily from her interest in the philosophy of Karl Marx. ... Druyan herself had, at the time, rather vaporous standards of evidence for her many sundry beliefs (as she later acknowledged). She believed ... that Immanuel Velikovsky in the 1950s had correctly deduced the truth about the solar system. ... She believed in the ancient astronauts of Erich von Daniken." 
  12. ^ a b c "Ann Druyan Talks About Science, Religion, Wonder, Awe ... and Carl Sagan". Skeptical Inquirer 27 (6). November–December 2003. 
  13. ^ OVGuide. "Ann Druyan – A Plea for a Change in the Marijuana Laws Video" (Podcast). published by Ann Druyan. Retrieved 2013-10-02. 

External links[edit]