Named the "Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive" by People magazine in 2000, Neil DeGrasse Tyson is the New York Times bestselling author of Death by Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries. The recipient of the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, Tyson’s contributions to the public’s appreciation of the cosmos include hosting the NOVA miniseries Origins and the NOVA spinoff program, NOVA ScienceNOW, on PBS. The first occupant of the Frederick P. Rose Directorship of the Hayden Planetarium in New York, Tyson researches star formation, exploding stars, and the structure of the Milky Way galaxy.
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Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist with the American Museum of Natural History, director of the world-famous Hayden Planetarium, a monthly columnist for Natural History, and an award-winning author. Tyson is also the host of NOVA ScienceNOW and a frequent guest on The Daily Show and Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, and television documentaries on the universe. His latest book is The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet.
In this conversation with D.J. Grothe, Neil deGrasse Tyson recounts recent discoveries in astronomy, including methane on Mars and its possible implications, and questions regarding dark matter and dark energy. He explains how ignorance is seductive for the scientist. He details his involvement in the controversy regarding the status of Pluto, and the role of the Hayden Planetarium in the international debate over solar system nomenclature. He describes whether teaching the controversy over Pluto’s status is helpful in teaching astronomy, and how this compares to the "teaching the controversy" argument regarding evolution versus intelligent design creationism. And he shares his views about the best ways to teach the solar system to students, by comparing and contrasting objects in the solar system and how they relate to each other.
The director of the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium and author of The Pluto Files, Neil deGrasse Tyson, talks about the future of NASA, Pluto’s demotion to dwarf-planet status, and the difference between Darwin and Einstein.
Paula Apsell interviews Neil deGrasse Tyson about his new book, The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet, and about his work in astrophysics.
Neil deGrasse Tyson, the astrophysicist, is director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York and host of NOVA ScienceNow. He is the author of nine books about astrophysics, including Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution and Death By Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries, and is the recipient of nine honorary doctorates and the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal. His latest book, The Pluto Files, chronicles his experience at the center of the controversy over Pluto’s planetary status.
Paula Apsell is the senior executive producer for NOVA, and the director of the WGBH Science Unit. She got her start in broadcasting at WGBH Boston, where she developed the award-winning children’s drama radio series The Spider’s Web, and later became a radio news producer. In 1975, she joined NOVA, a fledgling WGBH-produced national series that would set the standard for science programming on television. Today, NOVA is the most popular science series on American television and on the Web. NOVA has won every major broadcasting award, including the Emmy, the Peabody, the AAAS Westinghouse Science Journalism Award, and the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Gold Baton.