Neil deGrasse Tyson (NDGT) is one of my personal heroes. According to Wikipedia, he is
…an American astrophysicist and, since 1996, the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan. A charismatic television personality, he has, since 2006, hosted PBS’s educational television show NOVA scienceNOW. He has been a frequent guest on The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and Jeopardy!.
He is well-known for his charismatic personality and engaging mode of delivery, which he uses to good effect in communicating science to the public. In my view, he is the true successor of Sagan and Feynman, belonging to that rare breed of brilliant scientists who deigned to explain the universe to us laymen and to share their sense of wonder (Richard Dawkins, another of my favorite scientist but not quite personal hero, falls short of Sagan’s and Feynman’s class — Dawkins is too arrogant and strident to be an effective communicator of science to the general public).
Enjoy these videos of NDGT talking science to the public (and delivering some smackdowns).
This is the closest a science lecture has ever been to a religious sermon. Here NDGT talks about the feeling of awe that the cosmos inspires in him, likening it to a religious experience (without knocking on anyone’s traditional religion, unlike what Dawkins & co. usually do). This video is aptly titled “Greatest Sermon Ever”:
NDGT talks about 2012 and whether the world will end that year:
NDGT talks about asteroid Apophis, which may hit the earth on 2029 or 2037 and possibly cause a huge destruction around the Pacific rim. I’m not making this up. Look it up: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/99942_Apophis.
When you ask an intelligent man like Brutha Tyson a stupid question like “do you believe in UFO?”, get ready for some awesome scientific asskicking:
NDGT talks about the importance of growing your children to be scientifically literate (celik sains). He mentions two things I wrote about in my previous entry Celik Sains: 1) to be scientifically literate does not necessarily mean to be a scientist (it is possible to be a novelist AND to be scientifically literate at the same time); 2) to be scientifically literate is to avoid being taken advantage of by others.
Brutha Tyson smacking down Richard Dawkins. If you don’t want to watch the whole thing, here’s a summary:
Tyson: You gotta chill dawg. Nobody’s listenin’ if you shillin’ for science bro.
Dawkins: Fuck off.
You can watch more of Dr. Tyson’s videos on Youtube.