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Sizing Up The Universe With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Chris Cassidy, courtesy of W. W. Norton & Company

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is an expert on just about everything.

He’s debunked myths in sci-fi movies. He’s weighed in on the effects of climate change. And last week, he used science to predict when LeBron James will retire from the NBA. (It’s age 38, apparently.)

From Salon:

In pop culture, there’s two general stereotypes the public has about scientists. There’s the mad scientist of comic book and Hollywood fame, the cackling monster whose desire to conquer reality and life itself often drives him to discoveries that cause widespread destruction, including his own. Then there’s the more positive image of the tweedy nerd whose enthusiasm for knowledge and discovery can sometimes be off-putting, but is often just plain infectious.

Neil deGrasse Tyson, the astrophysicist who has found fame as a science educator and host of the reboot of Carl Sagan’s TV series “Cosmos,” is perhaps the most well-known living example of the second public image of a scientist. His nerdy exuberance is more than earned by his breadth and depth of knowledge not just about astrophysics, but about the history and culture of science. In his hands, science seems fun, cheerful, and not at all threatening.

We’ll talk with Tyson about his new book, co-authored with Avis Lang, Accessory to War: The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military, and the moral complications that might arise with new innovations.

Plus, we’ll get into his take on the Space Force. A preview? Earlier this month, he told Stephen Colbert: “Just ‘cause it came out of Trump’s mouth doesn’t require that it then be a crazy thing.”

We also want to know what Tyson, the man who helped “kill” Pluto, thinks about the possibility of its reclassification?

*Show produced by Amanda Williams, text by Kathryn Fink*.


Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist; director, Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space; co-author, “Accessory To War: The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics And The Military” with Avis Lang, research associate at the Hayden Planetarium; @neiltyson

For more, visit https://the1a.org.

© 2018 WAMU 88.5 – American University Radio.

Copyright 2018 WAMU 88.5

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