Quote: The Sagan effect

Many people know the story that Carl Sagan was rejected for membership in the National Academy of Sciences of the United States. The story has given rise to the idea of the “Sagan Effect”, whereby scientists who are active in popularizing and explaining science to the public are perceived by other scientists as being somehow less serious about their research.

Someone asked me about this today and I ran across a quote from the journalist Joel Achenbach, who had profiled Sagan in 1996, in an article reprinted in the book, Conversations with Carl Sagan (Carl Sagan and Tom Head, editors, 2006). This excerpt is from page 158:

In 1992, Sagan's name was one of sixty nominated for membership in the National Academy of Sciences. The other fifty nine made it without a hitch. But someone objected to Sagan.
Sagan's case was argued by Stanley Miller, a chemist who did pioneering work on the origin of life. He believes Sagan's scientific work, such as his research on the atmosphere of Venus, is often overlooked. The anti-Sagan faction countered that if the fluffy stuff of Sagan's career were swept away, there wouldn't be enough hard science underneath.
One member who was present says, "If he had not done television, he probably would be in the academy."