The Sagan Lecture is co-sponsored with the Biogeosciences Section and is named in honor of Carl Sagan. Trained in astronomy and biology Sagan was a leader in establishing the field of Astrobiology and a tireless educator, author and space advocate. He is well known among the general public for his award-winning PBS television series Cosmos and numerous books.
Sagan was President of the Section from 1980 to 1982. He was a founder of The Planetary Society and was Editor in Chief of Icarus for 12 years. An inspiration to several generations of young planetary scientists he died in 1996.