Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse

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

Author Quotes

It's always interesting just to see how the human mind is relating to the natural universe, and what we try to make of it just so we can believe we understand what's going on.

Just to settle it once and for all: Which came first the Chicken or the Egg? The Egg ? laid by a bird that was not a Chicken

Like the microscopic strands of DNA that predetermine the identity of a macroscopic species and the unique properties of its members, the modern look and feel of the cosmos was writ in the fabric of its earliest moments, and carried relentlessly through time and space. We feel it when we look up. We feel it when we look down. We feel it when we look within.

Next time you?re stunned by large Moon on horizon, bend over and view it between your legs. The effect goes away entirely.

One of my great laments is that education today seems to have... be less about passion and more about process, more about tactic or technique.

People generally don't recognize how long it takes to conceive, publish, and write a book.

Robots are important also. If I don my pure-scientist hat, I would say just send robots; I'll stay down here and get the data. But nobody's ever given a parade for a robot. Nobody's ever named a high school after a robot. So when I don my public-educator hat, I have to recognize the elements of exploration that excite people. It's not only the discoveries and the beautiful photos that come down from the heavens; it's the vicarious participation in discovery itself.

Scientists in different disciplines don't speak the same language. They publish in different journals. It's like the United Nations: You come together, but no one speaks the same language, so you need some translators.

Space in general gave us GPS - that's not specifically NASA, but its investments in space.

The cosmic perspective not only embraces our genetic kinship with all life on Earth but also values our chemical kinship with any yet-to-be discovered life in the universe, as well as our atomic kinship with the universe itself.

The less evidence we have for what we believe is certain, the more violently we defend beliefs against those who don't agree.

The partisanship surrounding space exploration and the retrenching of U.S. space policy are part of a more general trend: the decline of science in the United States. As its interest in science wanes, the country loses ground to the rest of the industrialized world in every measure of technological proficiency.

The Venus transit is not a spectacle the way a total solar eclipse is a spectacle.

There?s no shame in admitting what you don?t know. The only shame is pretending you know all the answers.

To make this journey, we'll need imagination but imagination alone is not enough because the reality of nature is far more wondrous than anything we can imagine. This adventure is made possible by generations of searchers strictly adhering to a simple set of rules. Test ideas by experiment and observation. Build on those ideas that pass the test, reject the ones that fail, follow the evidence where ever it leads and question everything. Accept these terms and the cosmos is yours...

We live on a cosmic speck of dust, orbiting a mediocre star in the far suburbs of a common sort of galaxy, among a hundred billion galaxies in the universe.

In the beginning, there was physics.

It's okay not to know all the answers. It's better to admit our ignorance than to believe answers that might be wrong. Pretending to know everything closes the door to finding out what's really there.

Keep in mind that if you take a tour through a hospital and look at every machine with on and off switch that is brought into the service of diagnosing the human condition, that machine is based on principles of physics discovered by a physicist in a machine designed by an engineer.

Long ago Mars was an oasis of running water. Today the Martian surface is a sterile, barren desert. Here on Earth, who knows what climactic knobs we unwittingly turn, which might one day render Earth as dry and lifeless as Mars. (From the cover of Old Poison by Joan Francis)

No astrophysicist would deny the possibility of life. I think we're not creative enough to imagine what life would be like on another planet. Show me a dead alien. Better yet, show me a live one!

One of the biggest problems with the world today is that we have large groups of people who will accept whatever they hear on the grapevine, just because it suits their worldview?not because it is actually true or because they have evidence to support it. The really striking thing is that it would not take much effort to establish validity in most of these cases? but people prefer reassurance to research.

People like death and mayhem.

Science depends on organized skepticism, that is, on continual, methodical doubting. Few of us doubt our own conclusions, so science embraces its skeptical approach by rewarding those who doubt someone else?s.

Slowest pitch in Baseball to reach catcher? 30mph, thrown at 45-deg angle. Any slower at any other angle hits ground.

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