Born in 1934 with an immigrant father who suffered working in the New York garment trade during the Depression. Carl made good in a big way, becoming professor of Astronomy at Cornell University. An early passionate advocate of space exploration and of supporting the search for extraterrestial life. He played a major role in NASA’s space exploration programme. He was a skilled popularizer of science presenting the award-winning Cosmos series in 1980. Latterly he emphasized the fragility of the Earth’s ecosystem and wrote the book above. This book published in 1992 chronicled human history and evolution, being written with his third wife Anne Druyan just before the era of the complete human genome sequence becoming available (2000). Since then our knowledge of human history has exploded because it can, to an extent, be read in the human (and Neanderthal’s) genome’s DNA. He died in 1996 at the height of his career.