Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson is My Hero

31 Jul

For those of you who have not been graced with his epicness, let me give you a little background:

Neil deGrasse Tyson (  /ˈnəl dəˈɡræs ˈtsən/ born October 5, 1958) is an American astrophysicist and science communicator. He is currently the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space and a research associate in the department of astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History. Since 2006 he has hosted the educational science television show NOVA scienceNOW on PBS and has been a frequent guest on The Daily ShowThe Colbert ReportReal Time with Bill Maher, and Jeopardy!. It was announced on August 5, 2011, that Tyson will be hosting a new sequel to Carl Sagan‘s Cosmos: A Personal Voyage television series.

Thanks, Wikipedia. In short, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson is the most badass mofo who studies one of the nerdiest topics: astrophysics and outer space. Fortunately, I have been able to see NdGT speak in person. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until I saw him speak that I found out who he was and understood how fantastic he is. He told us “The geek shall inherit the Earth.” Look out, world.

At the risk of sounding like a Gen-Yer, I follow him on Twitter. He has some of the wittiest comments, questions, and quips – on both science and general topics – I have ever heard.

One of the reasons I think he is just the “cat’s pajamas” is his stance on scientific literacy. He has dedicated his career to explaining science to people who would otherwise have an aversion to it. He makes science cool. I loved studying science in school, but it wasn’t considered “hip”. I took physics as a junior in high school and was convinced that I wanted to study physics in college. I got some weird looks when I told people. I since changed my path, but I digress.

One of the best sound bite montages of his thoughts and ideas on the NASA space program is the YouTube clip entitled “We Stopped Dreaming”.

You can really feel his fervor for enriching the minds and imaginations of young people. He really believes in science and engineering as a viable option for our future (and you know what? – I agree with him whole-heartedly).

You can tell how passionate he is about his work. I can only hope to be ½ as excited about the work I do as an adult as he is.

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One Response to “Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson is My Hero”

  1. Lauren July 31, 2012 at 9:59 pm #

    I love that he makes science accessible. Also, random fun facts on twitter.

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