Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse
Tyson
1958

American Astrophysicist, Cosmologist, Author and Science Communicator, Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium

Author Quotes

When we see animals doing remarkable things, how do we know if we're simply seeing tricks or signs of real intelligence? Are talented animals just obeying commands, or do they have some kind of deeper understanding? One of the biggest challenges for animal researchers is to come up with tests that can distinguish between the two.

Within one linear centimeter of your lower colon there lives and works more bacteria (about 100 billion) than all humans who have ever been born. Yet many people continue to assert that it is we who are in charge of the world.

You have people who believe they are scientifically literate but, in fact, are not. And I don't mind if you're not scientifically literate, but just admit that to yourself, so that you'll know, and perhaps you can take a first step to try to eradicate that.

When you innovate, you create new industries that then boost your economy. And when you create new industries and that becomes part of your culture, your jobs can't go overseas because no one else has figured out how to do it yet.

Without a doubt, the most spectacular way to die in space is to fall into a black hole.

You know that passage in the Bible that says, ?And the meek shall inherit the Earth?? Always wondered if that was mistranslated. Perhaps it actually says, ?And the geek shall inherit the Earth.?

When you organize extraordinary missions, you attract people of extraordinary talent who might not have been inspired by or attracted to the goal of saving the world from cancer or hunger or pestilence.

Without physics there?d be no Fashion Channel ? there?d be no TV. But w/o fashion, physicists might just be naked. Not good.

You will never find scientists leading armies into battle. You just won't. Especially not astrophysicists - we see the biggest picture there is. We understand how small we are in the cosmos. We understand how fragile and temporary our existence is here on Earth.

When you put money directly to a problem, it makes a good headline. It makes a good campaign slogan. You get to claim that you've engaged in these activities within an election cycle. But certain investments take longer than an election cycle.

Words that make questions may not be questions at all.

You've never seen me debate anybody. On anything. Ever. My investment of time, as an educator, in my judgment, is best served teaching people how to think about the world around them. Teach them how to pose a question. How to judge whether one thing is true versus another. What the laws of physics say.

When you visit countries that don't nurture these kinds of ambitions, you can feel the absence of hope...people are reduced to worrying only about that day's shelter or the next day's meal. It's a shame, even a tragedy, how many people do not get to think about the future. Technology coupled with wise leadership not only solves these problems but enables dreams of tomorrow.

Would a NASA reality show ?Lunar Shore? be more popular than ?Jersey Shore?? Civilization?s future depends on that answer.

When your reasons for believing something are justified ad hoc, you are left susceptible to further discoveries undermining the rationale for that belief.

Yeah, yeah, exactly, exactly. My concern here is that the philosophers believe they are actually asking deep questions about nature. And to the scientist it?s, what are you doing? Why are you concerning yourself with the meaning of meaning?... Well, I?m still worried even about a healthy balance. Yeah, if you are distracted by your questions so that you cannot move forward, you are not being a productive contributor to our understanding of the natural world. And so the scientist knows when the question what is the sound of one hand clapping? is a pointless delay in our progress.

Whenever people have used religious documents to make accurate predictions about our base knowledge of the physical world, they have been famously wrong.

Yes, not only humans but also every other organism in the cosmos, as well as the planets or moons on which they thrive, would not exist but for the wreckage of spent stars. So you?re made of detritus. Get over it. Or better yet, celebrate it. After all, what nobler thought can one cherish than that the universe lives within us all?

Where ignorance lurks, so too do the frontiers of discovery and imagination

Yes, the universe had a beginning. Yes, the universe continues to evolve. And yes, every one of our body's atoms is traceable to the big bang and to the thermonuclear furnace within high-mass stars. We are not simply in the universe, we are part of it. We are born from it. One might even say we have been empowered by the universe to figure itself out ? and we have only just begun.

Where there's water on Earth, you find life as we know it. So if you find water somewhere else, it becomes a remarkable draw to look closer to see if life of any kind is there, even if it's bacterial, which would be extraordinary for the field of biology.

You can?t just choose what is true and what isn?t.

When everyone agrees to a single solution and a single plan, there's nothing more efficient in the world than an efficient democracy.

Whether or not people go into space or serve the space industry, they will have the sensitivity to those fields necessary to stimulate unending innovation in the technological fields, and it's that innovation in the 21st century that will drive tomorrow's economies.

You cannot spontaneously levitate and hover above the ground, whether or not you are seated in the lotus position. Although, in principle, you could perform this stunt if you managed to let loose a powerful and sustained exhaust of flatulence.

Author Picture
First Name
Neil deGrasse
Last Name
Tyson
Birth Date
1958
Bio

American Astrophysicist, Cosmologist, Author and Science Communicator, Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium