MacFarlane in D.C. for dedication of late astronomer’s papers

WASHINGTON — He’s known as the creator of “Family Guy” and director of the raunchy film comedy “Ted.”

So what was Seth MacFarlane doing on Capitol Hill today?

He joined astronomers and scientists at the Library of Congress for the opening of a new collection of Carl Sagan’s papers.

The library has acquired the late astronomer’s papers with a donation from MacFarlane. Sagan’s widow and collaborator, Ann Druyan, also took part in today’s dedication, along with astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye and others.

Sagan was a pioneering space scientist, educator and Pulitzer Prize-winning author. He’s credited with helping to bridge the gap between academics and popular culture.

“He was a great popularizer of science,” MacFarlane told the gathering. “A man who understood that scientific advancement is something that affects us all on a daily basis, whether we’re aware of it or not.

The entertainer added, “It was partially thanks to the efforts of Carl that the case of science phobia, from which we suffer today, had a much harder time proliferating in the decades prior.”

The collection is comprised of 1,705 archival boxes of materials. It includes Sagan’s earliest notebooks and report cards, his correspondence with scientists, and drafts and documents from the first 40 years of the space age.

The library is posting new science resources online.

WTOP’s Brennan Haselton and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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