Broca's Brain (Magill's Literary Annual 1980)
In 1880, a French neurosurgeon and anthropologist named Paul Broca died. His brain was carefully removed and preserved in a bottle which is still housed in the Musée de l’Homme in Paris among countless other brains Broca had collected and studied during his successful anatomical career. Bypassing the irony of Broca’s final repository, Carl Sagan uses this brain as a starting point and thematic symbol for his collection of articles, Broca’s Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science. Having dealt with the evolution of our species in his 1978 Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Dragons of Eden, Sagan here reveals his appreciation for the inner genius of mankind and its outward manifestation in the exploration and description of our world.
Carl Sagan is a respected astronomer whose work has won numerous scientific awards and has been translated into many languages. He is also becoming respected by the general public for his ability to share his scientific knowledge with the lay person while conveying his enthusiasm for the joys of discovery and creativity. The subtitle of this book clearly defines its pervasive theme. To Sagan, the pursuit of knowledge is exciting and exhilarating in every field, and his goal is to strike a responsive chord in the reader. In five main sections, he discusses intellectual explorations in astronomy,...
(The entire section is 1246 words.)
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