Neil deGrasse Tyson, MA ’83, is the public face of... - Wissenschaft und Deutsch

Neil deGrasse Tyson, MA ’83, is the public face of science. But he says his success has nothing to do with UT.

“Hey, aren’t you the scientist?”

The voice calls out on a bustling Manhattan sidewalk. Neil deGrasse Tyson—celebrity astrophysicist and director of New York City’s Hayden Planetarium—whirls around, looking for its source. He sees a disheveled homeless man with a piercing stare.

“Yes, I guess I am,” says Tyson, MA ’83. “What can I do for you?”

“I’ve seen you on TV,” the man replies. “I just want to know—how exactly would a black hole kill a person?”

So Tyson launches into a quick account of spaghettification, or the way extreme gravitational forces near a black hole would stretch a human body from head to toe—like a skinny pasta noodle—until its very atoms would be wrenched apart. “A black hole is a one-way trip,” he is fond of saying. “You ain’t coming out.”

Perhaps no other scientist in the world is so famous that even someone lacking basic shelter stops him on the street to ask a technical question. But Neil deGrasse Tyson, 53, is like no other scientist. More than anyone else living today, he is the public face of his entire field.

You may not know his name, but you’ve seen him on CNN, ABC, The Colbert ReportThe Tonight ShowJeopardy!, or even Stargate AtlantisTIME named him one of the 100 most influential Americans; People gave him the inimitable title of “Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive.” And when his new show debuts on FOX next year, Tyson will be exposed to his widest audience yet.

“People stop me on the street all the time,” Tyson says. “Taxi drivers, janitors, businessmen. It doesn’t matter who you are—it’s human nature to ask deep questions about the universe. To look up and wonder what’s out there. And I’m happy to talk about it.”

Connecting with such a prominent alumnus could be huge for The University of Texas. This is even truer because Tyson is African-American, and UT has long had a troubled relationship with the black community. But Tyson is not exactly UT’s biggest fan. That’s because he and the University had a bad break-up—one that prompts tricky questions about how academia defines success. As we’ll see, his time at UT is the one thing Tyson doesn’t like to talk about.

read more about Neil’s journey and struggles 

  1. musing-ego reblogged this from blerdgirlchronicles
  2. morgan-raven reblogged this from becauseineedfeminism
  3. becauseineedfeminism reblogged this from scienceyoucanlove
  4. lasthippiestanding reblogged this from scienceyoucanlove
  5. cardinellian reblogged this from sagansense and added:
  6. antblock reblogged this from afro-dominicano
  7. teenwerewoofs reblogged this from getinthefuckingtitaneren
  8. getinthefuckingtitaneren reblogged this from dorkery
  9. thekingofcosmania reblogged this from wind-at-your-feels
  10. thekatieconway reblogged this from asterismjess
  11. asterismjess reblogged this from dorkery
  12. brienne-the-badass-of-tarth reblogged this from wind-at-your-feels
  13. tenfeetaboveyou reblogged this from dorkery
  14. the-wings-of-icarus reblogged this from slick-slytherin
  15. slick-slytherin reblogged this from pikapumpkin
  16. pikapumpkin reblogged this from dorkery
  17. yoshiyuki-meows reblogged this from dorkery
  18. dianapocalypse reblogged this from wind-at-your-feels
  19. wind-at-your-feels reblogged this from dorkery
  20. dorkery reblogged this from spookyjupebox
  21. dcfk reblogged this from arliss
  22. arliss reblogged this from fourminustwoeyes
  23. fourminustwoeyes reblogged this from p-ilot
  24. spookyjupebox reblogged this from byebyelosers
  25. mistborn-mage reblogged this from nerdycurvyboundandflirty
  26. stonetoads reblogged this from batty4u
  27. sigmafire reblogged this from sailorbirdie