"By far the most exciting, satisfying and exhilarating time to be alive is the time in which we pass from ignorance to knowledge": First Edition of Carl Sagan's Broca's Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science; Signed by Him

  • Broca’s Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science.

Broca’s Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science.


Item Number: 73086

New York: Random House, 1979.

First edition of this work, in which Sagan explores and explains a mind-boggling future of intelligent robots and extraterrestrial life and its consequences. Octavo, original cloth. Boldly signed by Carl Sagan on the half-title page. Fine in a fine dust jacket. Jacket illustration by Jon Lomberg. Jacket design by Robert Aulicino. Uncommon signed.

Broca's Brain is a collection of essays written by astrophysicist Carl Sagan. Its chapters were originally articles published between 1974 and 1979 in various magazines, including The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, Physics Today, Playboy and Scientific American. The title essay is named in honor of the French physician, anatomist and anthropologist, Paul Broca (1824–1880). He is best known for his discovery that different functions are assigned to different parts of the brain. He believed that by studying the brains of cadavers and correlating the known experiences of the former owners of the organs, human behavior could eventually be discovered and understood. To that end, he saved hundreds of human brains in jars of formalin; among the collection is his own neural organ. When Sagan finds it in Musée de l'Homme, he poses questions that challenge some core ideas of human existence such as "How much of that man known as Paul Broca can still be found in this jar?" - a question that evokes both religious and scientific argument.

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