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Watch > Episode > Neil deGrasse Tyson - Starry Messenger: Cosmic Perspectives on Civilisation

Neil deGrasse Tyson - Starry Messenger: Cosmic Perspectives on Civilisation


Astrophysicist, Author & Science Communicator

Today’s guest first sat in the London Real hot seat almost ten years ago, and to say the world has changed a lot since then would be an almighty understatement. We are experiencing a huge shift in the way we live our lives, from our day-to-day conveniences and social structures, to our working environments and how we conduct commerce.

So it’s with great pleasure that I finally welcome Dr Neil deGrasse Tyson back onto the show. Neil is an astrophysicist, planetary scientist and celebrated author, who is credited with popularising science in the mainstream media and is roundly considered America’s most well-known scientific mind.

Neil was born and raised in New York City, and it was here, at just nine years of age, that he first visited the Hayden Planetarium and a lifelong love affair with the Universe began. In a seamless twist of fate, Neil now serves as Director of that exact same institution, a role he has held since 1996.

Neil is a heavyweight in scientific circles, his passion and thirst for discovery knows no bounds and is something that has made him a hugely popular figure in the public consciousness. His enthusiasm is infectious, and his desire to encourage others to think outside their narrow sphere of experience is rarely deterred.

“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.”

His career thus far, is one of enormous success and achievement, from being appointed by then-President George Bush to serve on a twelve-member commission that studied the Future of the U.S. Aerospace Industry in 2001, to answering the call once again three years later and serving on a nine-member commission on the Implementation of the US Space Exploration Policy, dubbed the “Moon, Mars, and Beyond”.

Alongside this, in 2006 Neil was approached by the head of NASA to serve on its prestigious Advisory Council which guides NASA through its perennial need to fit ambitious visions into restricted budgets.

On television and in the mainstream media Neil has become a recognisable face thanks to his work on NOVA ScienceNow on PBS, and the weekly podcast StarTalk, where a mix of celebrity guests, banter and scientific insight, continues to find new audiences.

He is the recipient of 21 honorary doctorates and the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, the highest award given by NASA to a non-government citizen. On top of this, the International Astronomical Union named the asteroid ‘13123 Tyson’ in his honour.

But it is perhaps as an author that Neil has done some of his best work, inspiring generations of people young and old in the ways of the Universe. With 20 books to his name including his autobiography “The Sky Is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist” and the New York Times and international bestseller “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry”.

His latest offering “Starry Messenger: Cosmic Perspectives on Civilisation” is a wake-up call to everyone, as Neil takes a deep dive into the more pressing issues facing the world today and explores how more often than not, science holds the answer.

By investigating topics ranging from beauty, gender identity, race and death, Neil applies the rational lens of science with an engaging and philosophical approach to who we are and where we are going.

Neil believes we can address many of the issues facing the world if we take accountability for our actions and serve the greater good with a better understanding of our place in the Universe.

“The Universe does not revolve around the Earth and the world does not revolve around us and our opinions… Starry Messenger, it references insights that we glean from having studied how the universe works. It doesn’t tend to be compatible with your ego. The ego does not survive under scrutiny of a cosmic perspective.”

I’m really looking forward to this one. Neil is a fascinating guy with so much knowledge and insight – this episode is sure to get us all thinking, and perhaps instigate a new perspective on how we approach many of the issues we face in the world today. Be sure to tune in and spread the word far and wide.

Download clips

A number of clips from this exclusive interview are now available to download, share and repost. Spread the word: grab these clips today!

  1. Life before geeks ruled the world
  2. What we would look like to aliens
  3. The cosmic perspective of the world
  4. We journeyed to the Moon to discover the Earth
  5. Galileo’s observations and the heliocentric model
  6. The bible tells you how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go
  7. Are we alone in the Universe?
  8. This is why I’m sure there’s life in the Universe
  9. Would you live forever if you could?
  10. We get to die, and that’s a privilege
  11. The optic nerve experiment
  12. Is scientism wrong?
  13. Is A.I. going to annihilate humanity
  14. Are we really more divided than ever?
  15. What’s next for Neil deGrasse Tyson?


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