Astrophysicist kicks off Presidential Speaker Series



Madeleine Winer

Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist who has rejected traditional thinking that Pluto was indeed a planet, will speak at the third Kent State University Presidential Speaker Series 7 p.m. Sept. 25. in the Kent Student Center Ballroom.

He has appeared on “The Daily Show,” “The Colbert Report,” “Real Time with Bill Maher” and “Jeopardy!” as well as hosting his own education television show.

Tyson was appointed by President Bush to serve on committees to study the future of the U.S. aerospace industry and the implementation of the United States Space Exploration Policy, dubbed the Moon, Mars and Beyond Commission. Tyson was also appointed to serve on NASA’s Advisory Council in 2006.

“It’s great that we’re bringing Neil deGrasse Tyson to Kent State,” said Kent State President Lester Lefton in a press release. “He is such a brilliant scientist who makes science exciting, interesting and fun. I know our students, employees and the public will enjoy his presentation.”

The event is free and open to the those with reserved tickets from Tyson’s appearance is sponsored by Kent State’s College of Arts and Sciences and the Division of Research and Sponsored Programs.

The series also includes Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn on Nov. 14 and Ken Burns on April 22.

Kristof and Wudunn, who are married, won a Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for their reporting on the 1989 pro-democracy student movement and Tiananmen Square protests in China.

Burns makes historical documentaries, including “The Civil War,” “Baseball,” “Jazz,” and, most recently, “The Dust Bowl.”

Contact Madeleine Winer at [email protected].