State Of Affairs
Astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson has arguably become the most well-known and popular science advocate since Carl Sagan, the author and creator of the original Cosmos. With humor, passion, and plainspoken language, he conveys his love and wonder and enthusiasm for scientific knowledge in a way that is infectious.
His interest in astronomy was sparked by a visit to the Hayden Planetarium when he was nine years old. Today, he is one of the Hayden's directors, as well as a research associate in the department of astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History. He was also appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on the Commission on the Future of the United States Aerospace Industry, as well as on the President's Commission on Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy (a.k.a. the "Moon, Mars, and Beyond" commission).
Dr. Tyson has written several popular books on astronomy, including Just Visiting This Planet, One Universe: At Home in the Cosmos, Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution, The Sky Is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist and The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet. His stance on Pluto – that the decision to declassify it as a planet was correct – has proved somewhat controversial, and has actually resulted in hate mail... even from children!
Dr. Tyson's Origins book tied in with a four-part Origins series he hosted for PBS' NOVA; this television appearance began Dr. Tyson's ascent as the most popular and well-regarded face of science today. From 2006-11, Dr. Tyson hosted NOVA ScienceNow on PBS, and he is a frequent guest on Jeopardy!, Real Time With Bill Maher, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, among many others. He also created and hosted the radio program StarTalk.
Dr. Tyson's many awards and honors include the 2004 NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, the 2009 Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award from the Space Foundation for significant contributions to public awareness of space programs, and the 2009 Isaac Asimov Award from the American Humanist Association, as well as honorary degrees from many American colleges and universities.
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