The Cosmos, Explained: Neil deGrasse Tyson On His New Series

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When astronomer Carl Sagan hosted the 13-part TV Series "Cosmos: A Personal Journey," in 1980, it soon become most widely watched PBS show in the world, and still holds a legendary place in the hearts of many. Now, more than three decades later, the series is being brought back, with astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson as cosmic guide. Tyson, who also spoke withPopular Science for our March issue, chatted with us about the show. 

Popular Science: What was it like picking up where Carl Sagan left off? 

Neil deGrasse Tyson: It would be weird to try and be Carl, but I'm just trying to be myself, and luckily I already have a following and a comfort level reaching the public and bringing the universe down to Earth. I think that's what Cosmos is about. Some people think it's a remake, but it's not–it's a continuation. 

PS: Did you have any interaction with Sagan during his life? 

NDT: I think we were in the same company four times. But one story I re-tell in the first episode of the show: When I was 17, he invited me to the campus of Cornell after I applied, and he showed me his lab. He was already famous at the time and I was struck by how kind and tender and interested he was in my ambitions to become a scientist–he didn't have to be. I realized he had a powerful commitment to promoting science and to keep this epic adventure moving forward. I vowed I would give the same attention to people [upon becoming a scientist]. 

Written By: Douglas Main
continue to source article at popsci.com

5 COMMENTS

    • In reply to #1 by The Jersey Devil:

      If that Camels with Hammers guy was received on this site with much criticism, Tyson was received on this site with a yawn.

      Good point. People love to hate more than they love to love. That’s probably why boxing, football and hockey and sports involving aggression and brutality are so popular. Lovable guys like NDG, we tend to take them for granted. We don’t get as easily interested because there’s nothing to hate about him.

      We get very stressed with the frustrations and exigencies of everyday life but we also know that hurting innocent people is bad. People we perceive as morons and bad guys are therefore “fair game” for retribution because we feel that we can “legitimately” hurt and insult them. Unfortunately, we’re so busy punching the “bad guys” we forget to notice the good ones.

      • In reply to #2 by NearlyNakedApe:

        In reply to #1 by The Jersey Devil:

        People love to hate more than they love to love.

        I detected not a scintilla of hate towards Dan. Are you over-reading this?

        There were plenty here to object to NdGT’s piece about scientists being necessarily peaceable folk. But he is a smooth story teller and made his point efficiently and well. Fractions of lives were not lost in the reading and disagreeing as happened with DF’s pieces. (I lost about 3 microlives on one piece alone trying to figure out whether I was being unfair about it.)

        Besides, I suggest (in a loving sort of way) your hypothesis above is groundless.

      • In reply to #2 by NearlyNakedApe:

        In reply to #1 by The Jersey Devil:

        If that Camels with Hammers guy was received on this site with much criticism, Tyson was received on this site with a yawn.

        Good point. People love to hate more than they love to love. That’s probably why boxing, football and hockey and sports involving aggressi…

        This guy is a great figure for science and reason. He connects the emotion of the beauty of space, and all of its mystery, with the scientific method and its required logic. No boredom. Lots of respect.

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