From The Atlantic:
This editorial compares the political climate and public opinion towards science when the original Cosmos ran on television in the 80s to today’s opinions. The original Cosmos kicked off a decade-long “popular science boom,” according to Bruce Lewenstein, a professor of science communications at Cornell University. When Lewenstein asked scientists between the ages of 30 and 60 to name something that made them want to be scientists, a large number cite Cosmos. However, beyond raw numbers of viewers and anecdotal reports of personal inspiration, there is a lack of data on how Cosmos actually affected public support for science, making it difficult to consider any impact of the newer Cosmos in comparison to the original. The author of the editorial argues that we should consider the new Cosmos on its own terms, rather than pinning extremely high hopes about increased understanding of science or greater agreement about climate change and clean energy on a television show.