Comic-Con @ Home had two major science panels this year and both were extraordinary to watch. The first, which involved the theoretical side of things, was a trip inside the third season of Fox’s Cosmos series.
The panel, which had an introduction executive producer Seth MacFarlane, did an amazing job of giving viewers hope in both humanity and the future. Before we got any further it really should be noted that MacFarlane, who is best known for his work on Family Guy and other comedies, really does have massive respect for science and scientists and without him, Cosmos wouldn’t exist in its modern incarnation. He doesn’t get nearly enough credit for that. MacFarlane spoke of why now, more than any other time in human history, we need to look to the scientists to save us. It was a moving speech.
Once the panel really began the audience was joined by the creator, executive producer, director, and writer Ann Druyan; host and acclaimed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson; executive producer, director, and writer Brannon Braga; executive producer Jason Clark; and visual effects supervisor Jeffrey A. Okun.
Any panel Tyson is a part of is going to be great but this was unique in that he wasn’t surrounded by scientists this time as much as colleagues in the entertainment industry. That brings out a different side of Tyson and allows for the conversation to take a new direction.
“Some of the stuff we talked about this season, almost felt like pre-cognition,” noted Druyan. This season, the third for Cosmos, is titled “Possible Worlds” and takes viewers on a journey through everything from biology to quantum physics and beyond.
“One of the great things I love about this show is that it combines knowledge and emotion. I’ve found that the best way to get people to take any action is to combine the two,” stated Tyson passionately. “What we are trying to do is give people a cosmic perspective of the way things work and I think by showing people that visually it really gets them involved.”
Druyan, who had worked with Carl Sagan on the original Cosmos series, got a bit nostalgic. She remembered an incident where someone criticized Sagan for not staying within the boundaries of physics, his main field. “But the world is not broken down that easily, all of the disciplinary fields work together and that’s something we want to show on this series.”
Tyson and the others spoke to the necessity of science and it’s role in progressing humanity forward. How now, more than ever, it’s crucial to who we are and our place in the universe. It’s a ride I cannot wait to take with them as Cosmos: Possible Worlds returns this fall on Fox.