Broca’s Brain-Reflection on the Romance of Science was first published by Random House

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Broca's Brain-Reflection on the Romance of Science

Broca's Brain-Reflection on the Romance of Science was first published in the United States by Random House in 1979. The first edition, a hardcover, had 347 pages. The novel was reprinted by Ballantine Books in 1981. Carl Sagan, an astrophysicist, wrote the novel.

Chapter Origins as Essays

From 1974 to 1979, the book's chapters were first written as essays in numerous publications. New Republic, Scientific American, Atlantic Monthly, Physics Today, and Playboy are among the magazines.

Key Topics

The key topics covered by Sagan in this book are the brain, mind, sciences, space, and Paul Broca.

Thorough Exploration of Planets and Space

The book was selected for review because it provides a thorough exploration of planets and space.

The Future of Intelligent Robots and Extraterrestrial Life

Besides, Sagan has deeply explored the future of intelligent robots, the consequences of extraterrestrial life, and the future quandaries that are not only fascinating but also provocative.



Carl Sagan is an American astronomer whose attempts to make science popular are recognized globally. Carl was born on 9th November 1934 in Brooklyn, New York City. In 1951, he completed his secondary education at Rahway High School, New Jersey.He earned two degrees from Chicago University. In 1960, Sagan earned a doctorate in Astronomy and started his teaching career at Harvard University until 1968 when he later moved on to the University of Cornel (Sagan, 50). At Cornel, Sagan was the director of Planetary Studies as well as a professor of astronomy and space science. He assisted several spacecraft in exploring the space unmanned. He sent some messages into space such as the gold-plated label on Pioneer 10 the Voyage Golden Record sent on the Voyage space explorations. Some of his scientific achievements include his warnings on the dangers of nuclear winter as well as his guess on the presence of oceans and lakes on the Titan and Europa, Jupiter's moon. He is famous worldwide for the television series “Cosmos” and his science books. He won numerous awards and medals such as the Homer Award in 1997, the Hugo Award in 1981, the Locus Poll Award in 1986 and the Carl Sagan Memorial Award. Sagan died of pneumonia on 20th December 1996 after a long illness with myelodysplasia.

Contributions of the Book

The book gives a detailed description of the Broca's brain. The Broca area of the brain contains neuron which is essential in the articulation of speech. The Broca is located at the front part of the brain's left hemisphere, and it was discovered by Paul Broca, a French surgeon in 1861. Lying on the third frontal convolution, the Broca has two major parts which are the pars triangularis and the pars opercularis. Apart from being involved in the production of speech, the Broca also takes part in the comprehension of language, motor activities such as movements of hands as well as learning and integration of sensorimotor activities. Broca Aphasia is a speech disorder that is a result of the damage to the front lobe of the Broca (Sagan, 50). People suffering from the disorder have deliberate and succinct speech that is simple in its grammatical speech.

Sagan named the book Broca's Brain in respect of Paul Broca who discovered it. The book has contributed immensely in the scientific as well as the medical field. In the medical field, the physicians gain insight into the Broca's brain. Moreover, through this book, Sagan has changed the people's attitude towards Science. In the US, science was greatly criticized, but since the World War 2, the Americans appreciated the value of scientific knowledge that was life-enhancing. Notwithstanding, Reflections on the Romance of Science discusses the conventions of the planets in the solar system along with their physical features. For instance, the book expounds on the ejection of planet Venus by Jupiter, the collisions among the three planets namely Earth, Mars and Venus as well as the rotation of the earth.

The book further enlightens people on the mind-boggling future of the intelligent robots. Sagan argues the intelligent robots are human in a variety of ways. They are express the extraordinary intellectual capabilities that the human beings pose. In the US the intelligent machines are used in the heavy machinery plants. They assemble the heavy machinery which to a human being is tiresome. The book is most suitable for the people interested in understanding the universe. Most notably, it is more appropriate for students in the field of science as their insight on the earth and other planets will be heightened.


Conclusively, the book expounds on the universe, brain, space and the intelligent machines commonly known as the robots. Sagan argues that science is established on experiments along with the disposition to view the universe as it is (Sagan, 50). Through his work, Sagan creates insight on the Broca's brain that is responsible for the production of speech. The reader also understands the planets such as Mars, Venus, and Jupiter better.

Works Cited

Sagan, Carl. Broca's Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science. Ballantine Books, 1986.

January 05, 2023

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