Book Launch / “Cosmic Apprentice,” with Dorion Sagan

Date: Saturday, 18 May 2013, 6–8 pm
Location: Cabinet, 300 Nevins Street, Brooklyn (map and directions here)
FREE. No RSVP necessary

Please join us to celebrate the launch of Dorion Sagan’s new book Cosmic Apprentice: Dispatches from the Edges of Science (University of Minnesota Press).

In the pursuit of knowledge, Dorion Sagan argues in this new collection of essays, scientific authoritarianism and philosophical obscurantism are equally formidable obstacles to discovery. As science has become more specialized and more costly, its questing spirit has been constrained by dogma. And philosophy, perhaps the discipline best placed to question orthodoxy, has retreated behind dense theoretical language and arcane topics of learning.

Guided by a capacious, democratic view of science inspired by the examples set by his late parents—Carl Sagan, who popularized the study of the cosmos, and Lynn Margulis, an evolutionary biologist who repeatedly clashed with the scientific establishment—Sagan draws on classical and contemporary philosophy to intervene in often-charged debates on thermodynamics, linear and nonlinear time, purpose, ethics, the links between language and psychedelic drugs, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, and the occupation of the human body by microbial others. Informed by a countercultural sensibility, a deep engagement with speculative thought, and a hardheaded scientific skepticism, Sagan advances controversial positions on such seemingly sacrosanct subjects as evolution and entropy. At the same time, he creatively considers a wide range of thinkers, from Socrates to Bataille and Descartes to von Uexküll, to reflect on sex, biopolitics, and the free will of Kermit the Frog.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dorion Sagan is an award-winning science writer, editor, and theorist. He has written or coauthored more than two dozen books on culture, evolution, and the history and philosophy of science, including What Is Life?, Into the Cool, and Death and Sex. His writing has been published in the New York Times, the New York Times Book Review, Wired, Natural History, Times Higher Education, Smithsonian, and Cabinet.

Beer for this event has been lovingly provided by Brooklyn Brewery.
Cabinet is a non-profit organization supported by the Lambent Foundation, the Orphiflamme Foundation, the New York Council on the Arts, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Katchadourian Family Foundation, Goldman Sachs Gives, the Danielson Foundation, and many generous individuals. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation by visiting here.