Third Presidential Speaker Series featuring astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson to be held Wednesday night

Matthew Merchant

Renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson will speak at 7 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom Wednesday. Tyson is director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and recipient of the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, NASA’s highest award given to a non-governmental citizen.

“He is a wonderful teacher and presenter,” said Jon Secaur, assistant professor of physics. “He and others who are daring to sometimes risk their careers, who have chosen to spend their time communicating science – I think that is so essential.”

Secaur said he sees Tyson as an effective aggregator, someone who uses a collective interest and knowledge and presents it in a charming, interesting way.

In his biography, Tyson is described as an advocate for increased funding to NASA to promote a thriving future in space exploration.

President George W. Bush chose Tyson to help implement the United States Space Exploration Policy in 2004, and the head of NASA chose him to serve on its Advisory Council and help guide the organization’s vision for the future in 2006, according to the press release.

Tyson hosted the 2004 PBS and NOVA television miniseries “Origins” and is working on the 2014 reboot of Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos.” Tyson also hosts the radio program StarTalk, which “bridges the intersection between Pop Culture and Science with clarity, humor and passion,” according to the show’s website.


Contact Matthew Merchant at [email protected].