Star Stuff

Neil deGrasse Tyson has been on an epic book tour recently promoting his feelings about the future of the United States in space which he has captured in his new book Space Chronicles. So far he has been on The Daily Show, Bill Maher, NPR’s Science Friday, and various other news programs. My favorite moment was when Tyson owned his interview on the Daily Show. For most of the time, Jon Stewart sat there very quietly and  generally in awe of Tyson’s inspirational arguments. Ending with a half-joking call for Tyson to run for president.

In his Science Friday interview, Tyson described first meeting Carl Sagan when he was 17 visiting the Cornell campus. He said that he wishes that on his best day he could be the kind of inspirational figure that Sagan was. In turn, Phil Plait said that on his best days he wishes he could say something like this quote from Tyson:

Of course, Tyson is not the first to marvel that everything about our world, including our bodies themselves, are essentially star stuff. He has himself borrowed that sentiment from Carl Sagan who said it in Episode 8 of Cosmos in 1980, while discussing evolution on Earth.

Sagan’s monologue is inspiring. I am so glad that we have someone like Tyson to pick up where he left off and carry the banner of space exploration and science forward in his absence. Tyson first borrowed this idea in mass media when he was a talking head on the History Channel’s The Universe.

Beautiful and true. But it all comes together when you auto-tune it to the opening chorus of a Symphony of Science. So I will leave you with We Are All Connected…

“We are a way that the cosmos can know itself.”

March 6, 2012 7:58 pm

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