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This is a hypothesis which states that the popularity of a scientist among the general public is inversely proportional to his scientific accomplishment. That is, a scientist who spends too much effort making science popular among the masses is believed to be one whose scientific work is not the best. The Sagan effect is named after American astronomer Carl Sagan who popularised science among Americans through the famous 1980 science television series Cosmos . Sagan, a prolific scientist with several scientific papers to his name, suffered various professional setbacks because fellow scientists thought a science populariser cannot be a serious scientist.

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