August 17, 2006
Neil deGrasse Tyson, one of America’s superstars of science, focuses his research on star formation, exploding stars, dwarf galaxies, and the structure of our own galaxy, the Milky Way.
In addition to dozens of scholarly publications, Dr. Tyson is one of America’s most eloquent and popular science writers. He has a monthly column for Natural History magazine simply titled the “Universe.” Among his seven books is his memoir The Sky is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist; and also Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution, co-written with Donald Goldsmith. Origins is the companion book to the PBS-NOVA series of the same title, in which Dr. Tyson serves as the on-camera host. Beginning Fall 2006, he will appear as the on-camera host of PBS-NOVA’s program ScienceNow, which will explore the frontiers of all the science that shapes our understanding of our place in the universe.
Dr. Tyson is the recipient of seven honorary doctorates and the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal. His contributions to the public appreciation of the cosmos have been recognized by the International Astronomical Union in their official naming of asteroid “13123 Tyson”. On a lighter note, a few years ago he was voted “Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive” by People Magazine.
In this wide-ranging interview with DJ Grothe, Dr. Tyson discusses new developments this week in astronomy which may increase the count of planets in our solar system, reveals why he believes it is likely that there is life elsewhere in the universe, examines Intelligent Design and what he calls “stupid design,” eloquently explains how parents may foster an appreciation for science in children, and also discusses science education’s real-world economic impact for America.
Also in this episode, DJ and Lauren Becker discuss the new collaborative effort between the Center for Inquiry and the State University of New York called Science and the Public.