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Neil deGrasse Tyson

Mershon Auditorium

Event Info

Neil deGrasse Tyson
“The Search for Life in the Universe”

Neil deGrasse Tyson was born and raised in NYC where he was educated in the public schools through his graduation from the Bronx High School of Science. Tyson went on to earn his BA in Physics from Harvard and his PhD in Astrophysics from Columbia.

In 2001, Tyson was appointed by President Bush to serve on a commission that studied the Future of the U.S. Aerospace Industry. The final report published in 2002 contained recommendations that would promote a thriving future of transportation, space exploration, and national security.  In 2004, he served on the “Moon, Mars, and Beyond” commission.  In 2006, the head of NASA appointed Tyson to serve on its Advisory Council.

In addition to professional publications, Dr. Tyson has written, and writes for the public. From 1995 to 2005, Tyson was an essayist for Natural History magazine. Among Tyson’s fifteen books is his memoir The Sky is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist; and Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution, co-written with Donald Goldsmith. Origins is the companion book to the PBS NOVA four-part mini-series Origins, hosted by Tyson.  Tyson’s books include Death By Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries, The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet, Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier, Astrophysics for People In A Hurry, Accessory to War: The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military, with coauthored Avis Lang, Letters from an Astrophysicist, and Cosmic Queries: StarTalk’s Guide to Who We Are, How We Got Here, and Where We are Going, coauthored with James Trefil, Starry Messenger: Cosmic Perspectives on Civilization and To Infinity and Beyond: A Journey of Cosmic Discovery, coauthored with Lindsey Nyx Walker.

For five seasons, beginning in 2006, Tyson appeared as the host of PBS NOVA’s spinoff NOVA ScienceNOW, an accessible look at the frontier of all the science that shapes the understanding of our place in the universe.  In 2009, Tyson identified standup comedians to help him bring science to commercial radio with the NSF-funded StarTalk (now also a popular Podcast) targeting those who never thought they would, or could, like science.

Tyson is the recipient of twenty-three 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.” And by zoologists, with the naming of Indirani Tysoni, a native species of leaping frog in India. He was voted “Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive” by People Magazine in 2000.

Tyson served as Executive Science Editor, Host & Narrator for Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey, the 21stcentury continuation of Carl Sagan’s landmark TV series airing in 181 countries and 45 languages on the National Geographic Channels.

Tyson is the fifth head of the world-renowned Hayden Planetarium in New York City and the first occupant of its Frederick P. Rose Directorship. He is a research associate of the Department of Astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History. 

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