"I try to refrain from commenting on any ideas I might have about the personalities behind them."
That sounds pretty good. It's not _my first turn around the turtle track, either. A book cover does not yield the book.
"Concerning heros: Sagan and Edison do not make my list. (Another topic of discussion for another time.)"
May I comment for future reference? You and the group may come fully loaded, I hope, to a future commentary.
a) Sagan said "military intelligence" is an oxymoron. That is an unsophisticated comment.
b) Sagan was a glory hog who allowed himself to become a Tonight Show celebrity and to become a pop culture spokesperson when maybe he ought to have mentored and sponsored a new group of spokespersons who were better qualified.
c) Sagan portrayed Tyco Brahe mostly being a glutton at the dinner table, rather than mostly counting the stars in their moments. Not fair; not nice; not very deep.
d) et al. He may even have disturbed the gradual popularization of space culture. His sci-fi wasn't that good. There are reasons not to replay Cosmos on TV (though I would like to watch it again).
e) Still, I won't be mad at the ones who light a candle. This field is full of ways to go somewhat wrong without meaning to, and I think his faults were organic. He meant well, I am convinced, even if he might have taken one look at me and thought I was a schmuck. What would he know about it. He's not an exobiologist. Oh, wait. He was. Anyway, when as a teenager I needed to get back to my earlier "space roots" reading habits,along came Carl Sagan and
"The Cosmic Connection" and I was re-smitten by the possibilities of a serious contemplation upon topics of space and time.
2) Edison was a slave-driver as a boss, and a man who apparently sometimes accepted more credit than he was due...and he did not treat Tesla with the respect he deserved. Edison would have hooked up the grid with DC...for a short time.
But... I respect him because in the early days, when his life course was developing, he worked hard at creating. Some good things happened because he was willing, for example, to get under a house and dig...work long hours and not give up...