Scores of Sagans

I’ve generally avoided recycling other people’s posts in this space in favor of posting my own original commentary. At the same time I maintain a link blog where I highlight the interesting geological stuff I winnow from the blogosphere.

But today I’m going to make an exception for Landslide Detectives, a video produced by KQED for their QUEST multimedia series on environment, science, and nature:

So why did I make an exception? Well first off, the video does a great job of illustrating the science of geology, and geologists at work in an context that genuinely impacts peoples lives. I want to do my part to make sure it gets to as wide an audience as possible. But in a larger sense it also represents an ideal that I want to strive for.

Back in January, Thermochronic and Yami both expressed a yearning for a “Carl Sagan of geology”. I certainly agree with the general sentiment, but I don’t just want one Sagan – I want scores of them! This QUEST video points the way. No, we all can’t achieve such great production values, but we can all tell great stories – each in our own way – that convey the thrill of discovery inherent in the quest for scientific understanding. That was the inherent genius of Carl Sagan. Network television could only support one Sagan, but the web enables us all to be Sagans. And that’s not the end of the web revolution, because it also allows us to interact with our audience (potentially billions and billions!) and to invite them to join the conversation in ways that TV never could. That’s why I remain excited about the prospects for expanding geoscience understanding in the Web 2.0 era.

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