Cosmos: Where Are The Others?

We’ve now seen episode 6 and I haven’t had as much trouble with the whole ‘religion is wrong’ thing, Jeff.  I think it’s because I was raised in a UU (Unitarian Universalist) Church.

I laugh a little because Jeff has been sharing ‘UU’ jokes with me lately – like the one where the UU missionaries come to your door and ask you about your religion.

I think ours is the Borg of religions.  We simply assimilate whatever you have to share and incorporate what we want to into ours while ignoring the rest, like sorting the wheat from the chaff.

We have classes for that sort of thing for pete’s sake!  BYOB: build your own beliefs I think the one I took is called.

I certainly had my issues with the show however.

I’m really not the show’s ‘target’ audience either.  I remember the original fondly, though I went away learning almost nothing new.

At least this time, I have learned a few things as well.  I’ll probably watch #6 again since I probably missed a few things while pondering what I heard as the show kept going and I was still pondering.

There are really only two things about Cosmos, ‘the next generation’ that I have a problem with.

The first one is fairly minor and I kind of don’t care since it’s so prevalent these days.  It’s a bit too much about Neil for my taste.  Sagan never really did that, I don’t think.  It would probably be good to return to the series and see them again for so many reasons, including this one.

Oh the other hand, I really take issue with the sheer prejudice of the show!

Wouldn’t it be interesting to see a whole ‘Cosmos’ series about the contributions to science by women?  Who would make a good host(ess)?  Who in herstory would we learn about?  Who is top dog in the science world now?

I have a few ideas.  I’ll express them shortly.

In two different episodes, Tyson mentions two of the three Herschel’s important to astronomy yet never once mentions Caroline who helped both her brother William and her nephew John while contributing important works independently.

Do you know the names below?  Do you know what they did or how they contributed to science?  Can you tell what you are missing because you don’t?

Caroline Hershel
Mary Somerville
Lise Meitner
Maria Mitchell
Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin
Jocelyn Bell Burnell
Henrietta Swan Leavitt
Emmy Noether
Émilie du Châtelet
Mary Anning
Annie Jump Cannon
Maria Gaetana Agnesi
Sophie Germain
Rosalind Franklin
Barbara McClintock
Ada Lovelace

Who was (is) she?  Why was she important?  What did she contribute to the world?  What are we missing because she is unknown to us?

I know a few of them, mostly in astronomy.

What if Newton’s, Galileo’s or ____ discoveries were so ignored or lost?  Imagine life not knowing these things to build on?  How many things would not happen because we don’t include them in our knowledge base?

I am really enjoying the graphics though and they get some pretty cool things right – like the water tension on the dewdrop in the episode we just saw.

I’m really sad about the major faux pas, in my opinion, which Tyson, Tyson of all people, missed which could have made Cosmos, the next generation, so much richer, more interesting and beneficial to all the girls and women watching.  I’m sure there are many this time around.

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