Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse

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

Author Quotes

Rational thoughts never drive people's creativity the way emotions do.

Science?s skeptical core makes it a poor competitor for human hearts and minds, which recoil from its ongoing controversies and prefer the security of seemingly eternal truths. If the scientific approach were just one more interpretation of the cosmos, it would never have amounted to much; but science?s big-time success rests on the fact that it works. If you board an aircraft built according to science ? with principles that have survived numerous attempts to prove them wrong ? you have a far better chance of reaching your destination than you do in an aircraft constructed by the rules of Vedic astrology.

Space enthusiasts are the most susceptible demographic to delusion that I have ever seen.

The center line of science literacy - which not many people tell you, but I feel this strongly, and I will go to my grave making this point - is how you think.

The idea that science is just some luxury that you'll get around to if you can afford it is regressive to any future a country might dream for itself.

The options available to a creative person are ever limited by the choices offered by a philosopher.

The Universe is under no obligation to make sense to you.

There?s a fascinating frailty of the human mind that psychologists know all about, called ?argument from ignorance.? This is how it goes. Remember what the ?U? stands for in ?UFO?? You see lights flashing in the sky. You?ve never seen anything like this before and don?t understand what it is. You say, ?It?s a UFO!? The ?U? stands for ?unidentified.? But then you say, ?I don?t know what it is; it must be aliens from outer space, visiting from another planet.? The issue here is that if you don?t know what something is, your interpretation of it should stop immediately. You don?t then say it must be X or Y or Z. That?s argument from ignorance. It?s common. I?m not blaming anybody; it may relate to our burning need to manufacture answers because we feel uncomfortable about being steeped in ignorance.

To learn that it's easier to be told by others what to think and believe than it is to think for yourself.

We have bred multiple generations of people who have not experienced knowing where you are the moment a news story broke, with that news story being great and grand and something that elevates society instead of diminishes it.

When asked about which scientist he'd like to meet, Neil deGrasse Tyson said, Isaac Newton. No question about it. The smartest person ever to walk the face of this earth. The man was connected to the universe in spooky ways. He discovered the laws of motion, the laws of gravity, the laws of optics. Then he turned 26.

In Terminator, only living things can time-travel. But hair is dead. So Arnold should?ve landed in LA not only naked but bald

It's actually the minority of religious people who rejects science or feel threatened by it or want to sort of undo or restrict the... where science can go. The rest, you know, are just fine with science. And it has been that way ever since the beginning.

Just think for how long humanity was controlled by mystical, magical thinking - the diseases and suffering that led to. We managed to survive, but just barely. It wasn't pretty.

Life is too short for me to worry about something I have no control over that I don?t even know will happen. People ask ?if Earth is going to be swallowed by a black hole or if there is some disturbance in the space-time continuum should we worry about it?? My answer is ?no? because you won?t know about it until it crosses your... your place in space-time. Your beats come to you when nature decides it?s the right time... be it the speed of sound, the speed of light, the speed of electrical impulses we will forever be victims of the time delay between information around us and our capacity to receive it.

Need a distraction today? Not only does 12+1=11+2, but the letters ?twelve plus one? rearrange to give you ?eleven plus two?

Once you have an innovation culture, even those who are not scientists or engineers - poets, actors, journalists - they, as communities, embrace the meaning of what it is to be scientifically literate. They embrace the concept of an innovation culture. They vote in ways that promote it. They don't fight science and they don't fight technology.

People credit me for making the universe interesting when in fact the universe is inherently interesting, and I'm merely revealing that fact. I don't think I'm anything special for this to happen.

Recognize that the very molecules that make up your body, the atoms that construct the molecules, are traceable to the crucibles that were once the centers of high mass stars that exploded their chemically rich guts into the galaxy, enriching pristine gas clouds with the chemistry of life. So that we are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically and to the rest of the universe atomically. That?s kinda cool! That makes me smile and I actually feel quite large at the end of that. It?s not that we are better than the universe, we are part of the universe. We are in the universe and the universe is in us.

Scientific inquiry shouldn't stop just because a reasonable explanation has apparently been found.

Space exploration is a force of nature unto itself that no other force in society can rival.

The chances that your tombstone will read 'Killed by Asteroid' are about the same as they'd be for 'Killed in Airplane Crash.'

The knowledge that the atoms that comprise life on earth - the atoms that make up the human body, are traceable to the crucibles that cooked light elements into heavy elements in their core under extreme temperatures and pressures. These stars- the high mass ones among them- went unstable in their later years- they collapsed and then exploded- scattering their enriched guts across the galaxy- guts made of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and all the fundamental ingredients of life itself. These ingredients become part of gas clouds that condense, collapse, form the next generation of solar systems- stars with orbiting planets. And those planets now have the ingredients for life itself. So that when I look up at the night sky, and I know that yes we are part of this universe, we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts is that the universe is in us. When I reflect on that fact, I look up- many people feel small, cause their small and the universe is big. But I feel big because my atoms came from those stars.

The Pacific is the best toilet for satellites.

The urge to miniaturize electronics did not exist before the space program. I mean our grandparents had radios that was furniture in the living room. Nobody at the time was saying, 'Gee, I want to carry that in my pocket.' Which is a non-thought.

Author Picture
First Name
Neil deGrasse
Last Name
Birth Date

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