For the premiere of Fox's revamp of Carl Sagan's "Cosmos" on Sunday, President Barack Obama appeared in a pre-recorded message and said:
America has always been a nation of fearless explorers who dream bigger and reach farther than others imagined. That's the spirit of discovery that Carl Sagan captured in the original 'Cosmos.' Today, we're doing everything we can to bring that same sense of possibility to a new generation because there are new frontiers to explore, and we need Americans eager to explore them. There are no limits. So open your eyes, and open your imagination, the next great discovery could be yours.
The new "Cosmos" is hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson and its executive producer is Seth MacFarlane of "Family Guy" fame. MacFarlane stated in a video for Fox that he wants to re-ignite the "pride in scientific discovery" that was prevalent in the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s.
MacFarlane spoke at an event honoring Carl Sagan at the Library of Congress in November saying:
Long accepted scientific truths have been brought into question largely — who are we kidding? — by one side of the aisle, solely for the purpose of generating passion that could be shaped into various agendas. And the other side of the aisle has not really put up much of a fight.
Not one to shy away from peppering his works with liberal politics and anti-religious statements, Time reports that the message in the first episode of "Cosmos" was replete with political/religious fodder featuring an animated story about a 16th century monk, Giordano Bruno, who was persecuted for his work as an astronomer and eventually burned at the stake by the Catholic Church. Time says the message is clear: "there is a right side and a wrong side of intellectual history, and 'Cosmos' is not afraid to say that science is on the right one."
As for the president and his encouragement of Americans to eagerly explore new frontiers, NASA's funding has been repeatedly cut during his stay at the White House.