The fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.

Broca's Brain (1979)

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More from Carl Sagan

You know, someone in my position—new inventions, new industries—is always on the thin edge of breaking some law or other. Usually it’s because the old laws haven’t caught up with the new technology. You can spend a lot of your time in litigation. It cuts down your effectiveness.

Anything you don’t understand, Mr. Rankin, you attribute to God. God for you is where you sweep away all the mysteries of the world, all the challenges to our intelligence. You simply turn your mind off and say God did it.

She came to admire him so much that his love for her affected her own self-esteem: She liked herself better because of him.

Part I, 'The Message', Chapter 9, 'The Numinous'

Every government that prepares for war paints its adversaries as monsters, she said. “They don’t want you thinking of the other side as human. If the enemy can think and feel, you might hesitate to kill them. And killing is very important. Better to see them as monsters.”

…there was something unmistakably attractive about them. They were excellent at what they did and, especially in the discovery process, were utterly absorbed in their work.

Part I, 'The Message', Chapter 4, 'Prime Numbers'