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Wonders Of Science Essay Wikipedia Kim

Neil deGrasse Tyson (; born October 5, 1958) is an American astrophysicist, author, and science communicator. Since 1996, he has been the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space in New York City. The center is part of the American Museum of Natural History, where Tyson founded the Department of Astrophysics in 1997 and has been a research associate in the department since 2003.

Tyson studied at Harvard University, the University of Texas at Austin and Columbia University. From 1991 to 1994 he was a postdoctoral research associate at Princeton University. In 1994, he joined the Hayden Planetarium as a staff scientist and the Princeton faculty as a visiting research scientist and lecturer. In 1996, he became director of the planetarium and oversaw its $210-million reconstruction project, which was completed in 2000.

From 1995 to 2005, Tyson wrote monthly essays in the "Universe" column for Natural History magazine, some of which were later published in his books Death by Black Hole (2007) and Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (2017). During the same period, he wrote a monthly column in Star Date magazine, answering questions about the universe under the pen name "Merlin". Material from the column appeared in his books Merlin's Tour of the Universe (1998) and Just Visiting This Planet (1998). Tyson served on a 2001 government commission on the future of the U.S. aerospace industry, and on the 2004 Moon, Mars and Beyond commission. He was awarded the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal in the same year. From 2006 to 2011, he hosted the television show NOVA ScienceNow on PBS. Since 2009, Tyson hosted the weekly podcast StarTalk. A spin-off, also called StarTalk, began airing on National Geographic in 2015. In 2014, he hosted the television series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, a successor to Carl Sagan's 1980 series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage.[1] The U.S. National Academy of Sciences awarded Tyson the Public Welfare Medal in 2015 for his "extraordinary role in exciting the public about the wonders of science".[2]

Early life

Tyson was born in Manhattan as the second of three children, into a family living in the Bronx.[3] His mother, Sunchita Maria (née Feliciano) Tyson, was a gerontologist for the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, and is of Puerto Rican descent.[4] His African-American father, Cyril deGrasse Tyson (1927–2016), was a sociologist, human resource commissioner for New York City mayor John Lindsay, and the first Director of Harlem Youth Opportunities Unlimited.[5][6] Tyson has two siblings: Stephen Joseph Tyson and Lynn Antipas Tyson.[7] Tyson's middle name, deGrasse, is from the maiden name of his paternal grandmother, who was born as Altima de Grasse in the British West Indies island of Nevis.[8]

Tyson grew up in the Castle Hill neighborhood of the Bronx, and later in Riverdale.[9] From kindergarten throughout high school, Tyson attended public schools in the Bronx: P.S. 36, P.S. 81, the Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy (then called "P.S. 141"), and The Bronx High School of Science (1972–1976) where he was captain of the wrestling team and editor-in-chief of the Physical Science Journal.[10][11] His interest in astronomy began at the age of nine after visiting the sky theater of the Hayden Planetarium.[12] He recalled that "so strong was that imprint [of the night sky] that I'm certain that I had no choice in the matter, that in fact, the universe called me."[13] During high school, Tyson attended astronomy courses offered by the Hayden Planetarium, which he called "the most formative period" of his life. He credited Dr. Mark Chartrand III, director of the planetarium at the time, as his "first intellectual role model" and his enthusiastic teaching style mixed with humor inspired Tyson to communicate the universe to others the way he did.[14]

Tyson obsessively studied astronomy in his teen years, and eventually even gained some fame in the astronomy community by giving lectures on the subject at the age of fifteen.[15] Astronomer Carl Sagan, who was a faculty member at Cornell University, tried to recruit Tyson to Cornell for undergraduate studies.[6] In his book, The Sky Is Not the Limit, Tyson wrote:

My letter of application had been dripping with an interest in the universe. The admission office, unbeknownst to me, had forwarded my application to Carl Sagan's attention. Within weeks, I received a personal letter...[16]

Tyson revisited this moment on his first episode of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. Pulling out a 1975 calendar belonging to the famous astronomer, he found the day Sagan invited the 17-year-old to spend a day in Ithaca. Sagan had offered to put him up for the night if his bus back to the Bronx did not come. Tyson said, "I already knew I wanted to become a scientist. But that afternoon, I learned from Carl the kind of person I wanted to become."[17][18]

Tyson chose to attend Harvard where he majored in physics and lived in Currier House. He was a member of the crew team during his freshman year, but returned to wrestling, lettering in his senior year. He was also active in dance, in styles including jazz, ballet, Afro-Caribbean, and Latin Ballroom.[19]

Tyson earned an AB degree in physics at Harvard College in 1980 and then began his graduate work at the University of Texas at Austin,[20] from which he received an MA degree in astronomy in 1983. By his own account, he did not spend as much time in the research lab as he should have. His professors encouraged him to consider alternate careers and the committee for his doctoral dissertation was dissolved, ending his pursuit of a doctorate from the University of Texas.[21]

Tyson was a lecturer in astronomy at the University of Maryland from 1986 to 1987[22] and in 1988, he was accepted into the astronomy graduate program at Columbia University, where he earned an MPhil degree in astrophysics in 1989, and a PhD degree in astrophysics in 1991[23] under the supervision of Professor R. Michael Rich. Rich obtained funding to support Tyson's doctoral research from NASA and the ARCS foundation[24] enabling Tyson to attend international meetings in Italy, Switzerland, Chile, and South Africa[22] and to hire students to help him with data reduction.[25] In the course of his thesis work, he observed using the 0.91 m telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, where he obtained images for the Calán/Tololo Supernova Survey[26][27][28] helping to further their work in establishing Type Ia supernovae as standard candles. These papers comprised part of the discovery papers of the use of Type Ia supernovae to measure distances, which led to the improved measurement of the Hubble constant[29] and discovery of dark energy in 1998.[30][31] He was 18th author on a paper with Brian Schmidt, a future winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics, in the study of the measurement of distances to Type II Supernovae and the Hubble constant.[32]

During his thesis research at Columbia University, Tyson became acquainted with Professor David Spergel at Princeton University, who visited Columbia University in the course of collaborating with his thesis advisor on the Galactic bulge[33][34][35] typically found in spiral galaxies.


Tyson's research has focused on observations in cosmology, stellar evolution, galactic astronomy, bulges, and stellar formation. He has held numerous positions at institutions including the University of Maryland, Princeton University, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Hayden Planetarium.

In 1994, Tyson joined the Hayden Planetarium as a staff scientist while he was a research affiliate in Princeton University. He became acting director of the planetarium in June 1995 and was appointed director in 1996.[36] As director, he oversaw the planetarium's $210 million reconstruction project, which was completed in 2000. Upon being asked for his thoughts on becoming director, Tyson said "when I was a kid... there were scientists and educators on the staff at the Hayden Planetarium... who invested their time and energy in my enlightenment... and I've never forgotten that. And to end up back there as its director, I feel this deep sense of duty, that I serve in the same capacity for people who come through the facility today, that others served for me".[37]

Tyson has written a number of popular books on astronomy. In 1995, he began to write the "Universe" column for Natural History magazine. In a column he authored for a special edition of the magazine, called "City of Stars", in 2002, Tyson popularized the term "Manhattanhenge" to describe the two days annually on which the evening sun aligns with the street grid in Manhattan, making the sunset visible along unobstructed side streets. He had coined the term in 1996, inspired by how the phenomenon recalls the sun's solstice alignment with the Stonehenge monument in England.[38] Tyson's column also influenced his work as a professor with The Great Courses.[39]

In 2001, U.S. President George W. Bush appointed Tyson to serve on the Commission on the Future of the United States Aerospace Industry and in 2004 to serve on the President's Commission on Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy, the latter better known as the "Moon, Mars, and Beyond" commission. Soon afterward, he was awarded the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, the highest civilian honor bestowed by NASA.[40]

In 2004, Tyson hosted the four-part Origins miniseries of the PBS Nova series,[41] and, with Donald Goldsmith, co-authored the companion volume for this series, Origins: Fourteen Billion Years Of Cosmic Evolution.[42] He again collaborated with Goldsmith as the narrator on the documentary 400 Years of the Telescope, which premiered on PBS in April 2009.[43]

As director of the Hayden Planetarium, Tyson bucked traditional thinking in order to keep Pluto from being referred to as the ninth planet in exhibits at the center. Tyson has explained that he wanted to look at commonalities between objects, grouping the terrestrial planets together, the gas giants together, and Pluto with like objects, and to get away from simply counting the planets. He has stated on The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, and BBC Horizon that this decision has resulted in large amounts of hate mail, much of it from children.[44] In 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) confirmed this assessment by changing Pluto to the dwarf planet classification.

Tyson recounted the heated online debate on the Cambridge Conference Network (CCNet), a "widely read, UK-based Internet chat group", following Benny Peiser's renewed call for reclassification of Pluto's status.[45] Peiser's entry, in which he posted articles from the AP and The Boston Globe, spawned from The New York Times's article entitled "Pluto's Not a Planet? Only in New York".[46][47]

Tyson has been vice president, president, and chairman of the board of the Planetary Society. He was also the host of the PBS program Nova ScienceNow until 2011.[48] He attended and was a speaker at the Beyond Belief: Science, Religion, Reason and Survival symposium in November 2006. In 2007, Tyson was chosen to be a regular on The History Channel's popular series The Universe.[citation needed]

In May 2009, Tyson launched a one-hour radio talk show called StarTalk, which he co-hosted with comedian Lynne Koplitz. The show was syndicated on Sunday afternoons on KTLK AM in Los Angeles and WHFS in Washington DC. The show lasted for thirteen weeks, but was resurrected in December 2010 and then, co-hosted with comedians Chuck Nice and Leighann Lord instead of Koplitz. Guests range from colleagues in science to celebrities such as GZA, Wil Wheaton, Sarah Silverman, and Bill Maher. The show is available via the Internet through a live stream or in the form of a podcast.[49]

In April 2011, Tyson was the keynote speaker at the 93rd International Convention of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society of the Two-year School. He and James Randi delivered a lecture entitled Skepticism, which related directly with the convention's theme of The Democratization of Information: Power, Peril, and Promise.[50]

In 2012, Tyson announced that he would appear in a YouTube series based on his radio show StarTalk. A premiere date for the show has not been announced, but it will be distributed on the Nerdist YouTube Channel.[51] On February 28, 2014, Tyson was a celebrity guest at the White House Student Film Festival.[52] In 2014, he helped revive Carl Sagan's Cosmos: A Personal Voyage television series, presenting Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey on both FOX and the National Geographic Channel. Thirteen episodes were aired in the first season, and Tyson has stated that if a second season were produced, he would pass the role of host to someone else in the science world.[53][54] On April 20, 2015, he began hosting a late-night talk show entitled StarTalk on the National Geographic Channel, where Tyson interviews pop culture celebrities and asks them about their life experiences with science.[55]

Tyson is co-developing a sandbox video game with Whatnot Entertainment, Neil deGrasse Tyson Presents: Space Odyssey, which aims to help provide players with a realistic simulation of developing a space-faring culture, incorporating educational materials about space and technology. The game is anticipated for release in 2018.[56]



[A] most important feature is the analysis of the information that comes your way. And that's what I don't see enough of in this world. There's a level of gullibility that leaves people susceptible to being taken advantage of. I see science literacy as kind of a vaccine against charlatans who would try to exploit your ignorance.

Neil deGrasse Tyson, from a transcript of an interview by Roger Bingham on The Science Network[57][58]

Tyson has written and broadcast extensively about his views of science, spirituality, and the spirituality of science, including the essays "The Perimeter of Ignorance"[59] and "Holy Wars",[60] both appearing in Natural History magazine and the 2006 Beyond Belief workshop. In an interview with comedian Paul Mecurio, Tyson offered his definition of spirituality: "For me, when I say spiritual, I’m referring to a feeling you would have that connects you to the universe in a way that it may defy simple vocabulary. We think about the universe as an intellectual playground, which it surely is, but the moment you learn something that touches an emotion rather than just something intellectual, I would call that a spiritual encounter with the universe."[61] Tyson has argued that many great historical scientists' belief in intelligent design limited their scientific inquiries, to the detriment of the advance of scientific knowledge.[60][62]

When asked during a question session at the University at Buffalo if he believed in a higher power, Tyson responded: "Every account of a higher power that I've seen described, of all religions that I've seen, include many statements with regard to the benevolence of that power. When I look at the universe and all the ways the universe wants to kill us, I find it hard to reconcile that with statements of beneficence."[63][64]:341 In an interview with Big Think, Tyson said, "So what people are really after is what is my stance on religion or spirituality or God, and I would say if I find a word that came closest, it would be agnostic ... at the end of the day I'd rather not be any category at all."[65] Additionally, in the same interview with Big Think, Tyson mentioned that he edited Wikipedia's entry on him to include the fact that he is an agnostic:

I'm constantly claimed by atheists. I find this intriguing. In fact, on my Wiki page – I didn't create the Wiki page, others did, and I'm flattered that people cared enough about my life to assemble it – and it said "Neil deGrasse Tyson is an atheist." I said, "Well that's not really true." I said, "Neil deGrasse Tyson is an agnostic." I went back a week later it had been rewritten and it said "Neil deGrasse Tyson is an atheist." – again within a week – and I said, "What's up with that?" so I said "Alright, I have to word it a little differently." So I said, okay "Neil deGrasse Tyson, widely claimed by atheists, is actually an agnostic."[65]

During the interview "Called by the Universe: A Conversation with Neil deGrasse Tyson" in 2009, Tyson said: "I can't agree to the claims by atheists that I'm one of that community. I don't have the time, energy, interest of conducting myself that way... I'm not trying to convert people. I don't care."[66]

In March 2014, philosopher and secularism proponent Massimo Pigliucci asked Tyson "What is it you think about God?" Tyson replied "I remain unconvinced by any claims anyone has ever made about the existence or the power of a divine force operating in the universe." Pigliucci then asked him why he expressed discomfort with the label "atheist" in his Big Think video. Tyson replied by reiterating his dislike for one-word labels, saying "That's what adjectives are for. What kind of atheist are you? Are you an ardent atheist? Are you a passive atheist? An apathetic atheist? Do you rally, or do you just not even care? So I'd be on the 'I really don't care' side of that, if you had to find adjectives to put in front of the word 'atheist.'" Pigliucci contrasted Tyson with scientist Richard Dawkins: "[Dawkins] really does consider, at this point, himself to be an atheist activist. You very clearly made the point that you are not." Tyson replied: "I completely respect that activity. He's fulfilling a really important role out there."[67]

Tyson has spoken about philosophy on numerous occasions. In March 2014, during an episode of The Nerdist Podcast, he stated that philosophy is "useless" and that a philosophy major "can really mess you up",[68] which was met with disapproval.[69][70][71][72] The philosopher Massimo Pigliucci later criticized him for "dismiss[ing] philosophy as a useless enterprise".[73]

Race and social justice

In an undated interview at Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Tyson talked about being black and one of the most visible and well-known scientists in the world. He told a story about being interviewed about a plasma burst from the sun on a local Fox affiliate in 1989. "I'd never before in my life seen an interview with a black person on television for expertise that had nothing to do with being black. And at that point, I realized that one of the last stereotypes that prevailed among people who carry stereotypes is that, sort of, black people are somehow dumb. I wondered, maybe ... that's a way to undermine this sort of, this stereotype that prevailed about who's smart and who's dumb. I said to myself, 'I just have to be visible, or others like me, in that situation.' That would have a greater force on society than anything else I could imagine."[74][75]

In 2005, at a conference at the National Academy of Sciences, Tyson responded to a question about whether genetic differences might keep women from working as scientists. He said that his goal to become an astrophysicist was, "...hands down the path of most resistance through the forces ... of society." He continued: "My life experience tells me, when you don’t find blacks in the sciences, when you don’t find women in the sciences, I know these forces are real and I had to survive them in order to get where I am today. So before we start talking about genetic differences, you gotta come up with a system where there’s equal opportunity. Then we can start having that conversation."[76]

In a 2014 interview with Grantland, Tyson said that he related his experience on that 2005 panel in an effort to make the point that the scientific question about genetic differences can't be answered until the social barriers are dismantled. "I’m saying before you even have that conversation, you have to be really sure that access to opportunity has been level." In that same interview, Tyson said that race is not a part of the point he is trying to make in his career or with his life. According to Tyson, "That then becomes the point of people’s understanding of me, rather than the astrophysics. So it’s a failed educational step for that to be the case. If you end up being distracted by that and not [getting] the message." He purposefully no longer speaks publicly about race. "I don't give talks on it. I don’t even give Black History Month talks. I decline every single one of them. In fact, since 1993, I've declined every interview that has my being black as a premise of the interview."[77]


Tyson is an advocate for expanding the operations of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Arguing that "the most powerful agency on the dreams of a nation is currently underfunded to do what it needs to be doing".[78] Tyson has suggested that the general public has a tendency to overestimate how much revenue is allocated to the space agency. At a March 2010 address, referencing the proportion of tax revenue spent on NASA, he stated, "By the way, how much does NASA cost? It's a half a penny on the dollar. Did you know that? The people are saying, 'Why are we spending money up there...' I ask them, 'How much do you think we're spending?' They say 'five cents, ten cents on a dollar.' It's a half a penny."[78]

In March 2012, Tyson testified before the United States Senate Science Committee, stating that:

Right now, NASA's annual budget is half a penny on your tax dollar. For twice that—a penny on a dollar—we can transform the country from a sullen, dispirited nation, weary of economic struggle, to one where it has reclaimed its 20th century birthright to dream of tomorrow.[79][80]

Inspired by Tyson's advocacy and remarks, Penny4NASA, a campaign of the Space Advocates nonprofit,[81] was founded in 2012 by John Zeller and advocates the doubling of NASA's budget to one percent of the Federal Budget.[82]

Animal rights

Tyson collaborated with the organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on a public service announcement that stated, "You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that kindness is a virtue."[83] He also granted PETA an interview in which he discussed the concept of intelligence (both of human and other animals), the failure of humans to heretofore communicate meaningfully with other animals, and the need of humans to be empathetic.[84][85][86]

Media appearances

As a science communicator, Tyson regularly appears on television, radio, and various other media outlets. He has been a regular guest on The Colbert Report, and host Stephen Colbert refers to him in his comedic book I Am America (And So Can You!), noting in his chapter on scientists that most scientists are "decent, well-intentioned people", but, presumably tongue-in-cheek, that "Neil DeGrasse [sic] Tyson is an absolute monster."[87] He has appeared numerous times on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He has made appearances on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and The Rachel Maddow Show.[88] He served as one of the central interviewees on the various episodes of the History Channel science program, The Universe. Tyson participated on the NPR radio quiz program Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! in 2007 and 2015.[89] He has appeared several times on Real Time with Bill Maher, and he was also featured on an episode of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? as the ask-the-expert lifeline.[90] He has spoken numerous times on the Philadelphia morning show, Preston and Steve, on 93.3 WMMR, as well as on SiriusXM's Ron and Fez and The Opie and Anthony Show.

Tyson has been featured as a guest interviewee on The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe, Radiolab, Skepticality, and The Joe Rogan Experience podcasts and has been in several of the Symphony of Science videos.[91][92]

Tyson lived near the World Trade Center and was an eyewitness to the September 11, 2001 attacks. He wrote a widely circulated letter on what he saw.[93] Footage he filmed on the day was included in the 2008 documentary film 102 Minutes That Changed America.[94]

In 2007, Tyson was the keynote speaker during the dedication ceremony of Deerfield Academy's new science center, the Koch Center, named for David H. Koch '59. He emphasized the impact science will have on the twenty-first century, as well as explaining that investments into science may be costly, but their returns in the form of knowledge gained and piquing interest is invaluable. Tyson has also appeared as the keynote speaker at The Amazing Meeting, a science and skepticism conference hosted by the James Randi Educational Foundation.[95]

Tyson made a guest appearance as himself in the episode "Brain Storm" of Stargate Atlantis[96] alongside Bill Nye and in the episode "The Apology Insufficiency" of The Big Bang Theory.[97] Archive footage of him is used in the film Europa Report. Tyson also made an appearance in an episode of Martha Speaks as himself.[98]

In a May 2011 StarTalk Radio show, The Political Science of the Daily Show, Tyson said he donates all income earned as a guest speaker.[99]

Tyson is a frequent participant in the website Reddit's AMAs (Ask Me Anythings) where he is responsible for three of the top ten most popular AMAs of all time.[100]

In Action Comics #14 (January 2013), which was published November 7, 2012, Tyson appears in the story, in which he determines that Superman's home planet, Krypton, orbited the red dwarfLHS 2520 in the constellation Corvus 27.1 lightyears from Earth. Tyson assisted DC Comics in selecting a real-life star that would be an appropriate parent star to Krypton, and picked Corvus, which is Latin for "Crow",[101][102] and which is the mascot of Superman's high school, the Smallville Crows.[103][104] Tyson also had a minor appearance as himself in the 2016 film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.[citation needed]

In May 2013, the Science Laureates of the United States Act of 2013 (H.R. 1891; 113th Congress) was introduced into Congress. Neil deGrasse Tyson was listed by at least two commentators as a possible nominee for the position of Science Laureate, if the act were to pass.[105][106] On March 8, 2014, Tyson made a SXSW Interactive keynote presentation at the Austin Convention Center.[107]

On June 3, 2014, Tyson co-reviewed Gravity in a CinemaSins episode.[108] He made two more appearances with CinemaSins, co-reviewing Interstellar on September 29, 2015,[109] and The Martian on March 31, 2016.[110]

In 2016, Tyson made a guest appearance on the Avenged Sevenfold album The Stage, where he delivered a monologue on the track "Exist".[111] In 2017, Tyson appeared on Logic's album Everybody on the song "AfricAryaN"[112] as well as on "The Moon" on Musiq Soulchild's album Feel the Real.[113]

Personal life

Tyson lives in Lower Manhattan with his wife, Alice Young. They have two children: Miranda and Travis.[114][115] Tyson met his wife in a physics class at the University of Texas at Austin. They married in 1988 and named their first child Miranda, after the smallest of Uranus' five major moons.[116] Tyson is a wine enthusiast whose collection was featured in the May 2000 issue of the Wine Spectator and the Spring 2005 issue of The World of Fine Wine.[117][118]


List of awards received by Tyson:[118]



  • 2000 Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive, People magazine[125]
  • 2001 asteroid named: 13123 Tyson, renamed from Asteroid 1994KA by the International Astronomical Union
  • 2001 The Tech 100, voted by editors of Crain's Magazine to be among the 100 most influential technology leaders in New York
  • 2004 Fifty Most Important African-Americans in Research Science[126]
  • 2007 Harvard 100: Most Influential, Harvard Alumni magazine, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • 2007 The Time 100, voted by the editors of Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential persons in the world[127]
  • 2008 Discover Magazine selected him as one of "The 10 Most Influential People in Science"[128]

Honorary doctorates

  • 1997 York College, City University of New York
  • 2000 Ramapo College, Mahwah, New Jersey
  • 2000 Dominican College, Orangeburg, New York
  • 2001 University of Richmond, Richmond, Virginia
  • 2002 Bloomfield College, Bloomfield, New Jersey
  • 2003 Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2004 College of Staten Island, City University of New York
  • 2006 Pace University, New York City
  • 2007 Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts
  • 2007 Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts
  • 2008 University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 2010 University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, Alabama
  • 2010 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York
  • 2010 Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic, Connecticut
  • 2011 Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
  • 2012 Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts
  • 2012 Western New England University, Springfield, Massachusetts
  • 2015 University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Amherst, Massachusetts
  • 2017 Baruch College, New York, New York


Other appearances



List of works by Tyson:[137]


Research publications

  • Twarog, Bruce A.; Tyson, Neil D. (1985). "UVBY Photometry of Blue Stragglers in NGC 7789". Astronomical Journal90: 1247. doi:10.1086/113833.
  • Tyson, Neil D.; Scalo, John M. (1988). "Bursting Dwarf Galaxies: Implications for Luminosity Function, Space Density, and Cosmological Mass Density". Astrophysical Journal329: 618. doi:10.1086/166408.
  • Tyson, Neil D. (1988). "On the possibility of Gas-Rich Dwarf Galaxies in the Lyman-alpha Forest". Astrophysical Journal (Letters)329: L57. doi:10.1086/185176.
  • Tyson, Neil D.; Rich, Michael (1991). "Radial Velocity Distribution and Line Strengths of 33 Carbon Stars in the Galactic Bulge". Astrophysical Journal367: 547. doi:10.1086/169651.
  • Tyson, Neil D.; Gal, Roy R. (1993). "An Exposure Guide for Taking Twilight Flatfields with Large Format CCDs". Astronomical Journal105: 1206. doi:10.1086/116505.
  • Tyson, Neil D.; Richmond, Michael W.; Woodhams, Michael; Ciotti, Luca (1993). "On the Possibility of a Major Impact on Uranus in the Past Century". Astronomy & Astrophysics (Research Notes)275: 630.
  • Schmidt, B. P., et al. (1994). "The Expanding Photosphere Method Applied to SN1992am at cz = 14600 km/s". Astronomical Journal107: 1444.
  • Wells, L. A. et al. (1994). "The Type Ia Supernova 1989B in NGC3627 (M66)". Astronomical Journal108: 2233. doi:10.1086/117236.
  • Hamuy, M. et al. (1996). "BVRI Light Curves For 29 Type Ia Supernovae". Astronomical Journal112: 2408. doi:10.1086/118192.
  • Lira, P. et al. (1998). "Optical light curves of the Type IA supernovae SN 1990N and 1991T". Astronomical Journal116: 1006. doi:10.1086/300175.
  • Scoville, N. et al. (2007). "The Cosmic Evolution Survey (COSMOS): Overview". Astrophysical Journal Supplement172: 1. doi:10.1086/516585.
  • Scoville, N. et al. (2007). "COSMOS: Hubble Space Telescope Observations". Astrophysical Journal Supplement172: 38. doi:10.1086/516580.
  • Liu, C. T.; Capak, P.; Mobasher, B.; Paglione, T. A. D.; Scoville, N. Z.; Tribiano, S. M.; Tyson, N. D. (2008). "The Faint-End Slopes of Galaxy Luminosity Functions in the COSMOS Field". Astrophysical Journal Letters672: 198. doi:10.1086/522361.


  1. ^"Cosmos – A Spacetime Odyssey". Fox. Retrieved October 25, 2014. 
  2. ^"Neil deGrasse Tyson to Receive Public Welfare Medal – Academy's Most Prestigious AwardArchived March 1, 2015, at the Wayback Machine." (2015-02-26). National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 2015-03-09.
  3. ^The Science Foundation (January 1, 2011). "Neil deGrasse Tyson – Called by the Universe". YouTube. Retrieved February 9, 2012. 
  4. ^Bried, Erin. "Sunchita Tyson". How to Rock Your Baby and other timeless tips for modern moms. Hyperion. Archived from the original on March 20, 2014. Retrieved May 2, 2014. 
  5. ^Fried, Joseph P. "Cyril D. Tyson Dies at 89; Fought Poverty in a Turbulent Era". The New York Times. December 30, 2016.
  6. ^ a
Tyson in December 2011 at a conference marking 1,000 days after the launch of the spacecraft Kepler
Tyson promoting the Cosmos TV series in Australia for National Geographic, 2014
Neil deGrasse Tyson was keynote speaker at TAM6 of the JREF.
2010 Space Conference group portrait: Tyson with fellow television personality and science educator Bill Nye.

Everyone’s life is extremely dependent on the scientific inventions and modern technology. Lives of people have changed to a great extent with the advancement in science and technology. It has made life simple, easy and fast. Scientific development can be seen from the era of bullock carts to the modern day vehicles. Science and technology has been put into practice in every sphere of life. Almost all the problems can be solved with the help of modern gadgets. The improvements we see in our daily life are because of science. For proper growth and development of the nation, science and technology must go hand in hand.

The modern period is the era of science. We perceive the presence of science from our waking till sleeping. It is contributing newer and newer forms of inventions for human life. The modern development mostly depends on the blessing of science. Here we have provided various essays on the Wonders of Science under particular words limit to help you with the topic in your class test, exam, prepare assignments, etc. You can select any Wonders of Science essay according to your need:

Essay on Wonders of Science

Wonders of Science Essay 1 (200 words)


Science is a blessing to the mankind. It makes man’s existence comfortable. Scientific information and knowledge has empowered man. In farming, communication, medical science and almost every field, man has got abundant developments with the understanding of science.

So where can we find science in daily life? You don’t need to find it. It is always there around you. So let’s find out some and discover science in our daily life:

Science in Our Daily Life

  • Cooking – Radiation, Conduction, and Convection are the mediums for the transfer of heat. Therefore, they are part of heat energy and where there is heat there is Physics.
  • Food – The food we eat goes through a chemical reaction inside our body which gives us the energy to sustain the whole day. This is Biology.
  • Vehicles – The process that takes place in our car which is to burn fuel like petrol or diesel is called Combustion. This comes under Chemistry.

Household Appliances

  • Appliances like mixer use centrifugal force to turn their blades and churn the food.
  • Inventors concluded that electrons can carry data and audio very quickly so they came up with the idea of T.V. This is the basic principle behind the T.V and lies beneath the topic of physics.
  • In a refrigerator, passing cooler liquid around will absorb the heat present and decrease the temperature. Again physics and chemistry are involved in this.


Wonders of Science Essay 2 (300 words)


Science and its fabulous inventions have brought a revolution in various industries. These inventions have not only helped in industrialization but have also made our living easy and comfortable. Let us learn as to how the wonders of science have changed our daily life for the better.

Advantages of Science

How Science has changed our Lives?

  1. New ways of preserving and flavoring the food items are being invented through research in meals technology.
  2. A vast variety of plastic and different artificial supplies have been created which have hundreds of uses in the home and in industry.
  3. Antibiotics and vaccinations defend us from infectious illnesses and health problems.
  4. Nowadays there are slight or no possibilities of an infant getting disease because births now happen in hospitals under the supervision of specialized staff. Science has invented vaccines for infants to defend them from prospective life illnesses.
  5. Sanitary condition has improved a lot than before.
  6. Drainage system has been modernized.
  7. Filtered & mineral water is available to overcome diseases and other illness caused due to water pollution.
  8. Means of transport has also undergone a giant enhancement and change.
  9. Superstitions have been discarded and attitude has been changed towards everything.
  10. People now no more consider that diseases are caused by evil spirits.
  11. People have become open-minded and cosmopolitan due to the research in the field of science and technology, as a result, Scientist always tries to search out new issues, explorations, discoveries, and inventions.


The role of science is important in our everyday life. The various contributions of science have made our existence more relaxed and comfortable. The magnificent inventions of science like electricity, fans, air-conditioners, television, mobile phones, motor vehicles, etc. have eased our life, and now it is almost impossible to live without using them.

Wonders of Science Essay 3 (400 words)


In early age, man lived like a savage. He did not know how to light fire, how to cook food and how to wear clothes. He did not even know how to make a house or a hut, how to speak, read or write. But progressively by the use of science, he developed a great civilization. We know that science has given us far too many things and had made our life worth living from making a pin to a rocket are all the gifts of science. But like it is said – every coin has two sides.

Disadvantages of Science

Science has made some inventions that have proved to be destructive for the humankind. These were invented for the betterment of the human beings but are rather proving to be a curse in following ways:


Pollution started with industrialization. Industries and vehicles contribute to major pollution. Inventions in the field of technology have led to an increase in pollution. Water, air & noise pollution – all are a threat to mankind. It is due to this pollution that we are facing major problems like global warming and it has become a challenge for humanity.  Many harmful and toxic gases are released into the environment by the industries. These pollute the atmosphere. The air we take in is extremely polluted and causes various diseases. The waste these industries produce is often thrown in the rivers and other water resources leading to water pollution. The decline in aquatic species is the result of this pollution.

Destructive Weapons

Deadly and destructive weapons are again an invention of science. Science has given high-tech weapons and warheads to the mankind. These weapons can cause mass killing and destruction at a distant place just by triggering a button. The destructive applications of science like the nuclear bomb, Hydrogen Bomb, Poisonous gases, Missiles, Chemical warfare can finish the existence of any big city or country within seconds. The Nuclear power plant is a serious threat to the humankind and the environment, The Bhopal gas tragedy that took place in 1984 took lives of thousands and many were permanently disabled due to the poisonous gas leakage.


With the invention of high-tech machinery, the work which used to be too time-consuming earlier hardly takes any time now. The invention might have eased our life but has also created unemployment. Due to industrialization, less human force is required as all the major work is now being done by the machines.


Science that was very beneficial in the early age of scientific inventions and discoveries has now turned out to be equally terrible for the mankind. It seems that the time is not too far when the whole human race will have to experience suffering due to the evils of science. Man must use scientific inventions wisely.

Wonders of Science Essay 4 (500 words)


Science contributes to an overall understanding of how and why things work. It explains the reason behind the daily functioning of complex systems – from the human body to modern transportation. Students and children are able to use this knowledge to understand and learn new concepts, peruse new interests and make well-informed decisions. It also provides tactical and visible proof of many facts we read in books or see on T.V. This helps in raising the understanding and helps children to keep hold of the information.

Learning the Wonders of Science at School Level

Science knows no boundaries as it is a universal subject. After years of active and persistent efforts, science claimed to be a part of the school curriculum and got recognized. Science has proved indispensable for the existence of man and has revolutionized human life.

Supremacy of Science has now been established in every field and thus it is necessary to educate the students on Science – What is Science & where is Science. The tempo of our lives has also been quickened. A new social and political outlook has been given to the man altogether. Hence, the study of science has become a necessity in this age and without learning the modern science a man is like a lame individual with no sense of the modern era. Here is why it is important to learn the wonders of science at the school level:

  1. Science provides exclusive teaching on inspection and reasoning. It makes the students form an objective judgment.
  2. Science learning is unbeatably helpful for our supervision in life. We exist in a world of scientific inventions. So science education cannot be ignored.
  3. Science is taught to offer training and knowledge of scientific methods.
  4. Science has its own literature and cultural values. The scientific discoveries of Newton, Darwin, Armstrong, and others are treasures for mankind and hence science has won the first rank in Humanistic studies.
  5. Science has effective value. It instructs the children to use their leisure properly and is clearly illustrated in scientific hobbies.
  6. Awareness of the methods of observation and experimentation in the different fields of Science helps students develop a logical brain, a significant judgment and a capacity for disciplined organization.
  7. Science helps in remedies of the defects of ordinary school education. It is considered to be the most valuable element in the education of those who show special ability. It provides discipline of mind.


The study of science and technology proceed as an everlasting urge to obtain knowledge. The more we know of the secrets of nature, the more we understand how much remains unidentified. Now scientists talk about the wonder of nature with an excitement of emotion. We are learning as much of the secrets of the molecular cells in a living organism as of the atoms in space. So a modern syllabus of studies must comprise the study of science and technology because the modern man needs a scientific mind in approaching the problems of life.


Wonders of Science Essay 5 (600 words)


Science is everywhere from an ordinary pen to a printing machine, from a paper airplane to space shuttle. Science is an integral part of our daily life. Science has made our life easy and comfortable with its innovations. Science has changed every field of life. Impossible things have become possible.

Gifts of Science

Thousands of things we use in our daily life are the gift of science. Here is a look at some of these:

  • Electricity – The invention of electricity led to an incredible change for the human civilization. Electricity helps run trains, heavy machinery, industries or other heavy wagons. Air conditioners, electric fans, electric heaters, lights have made our life more comfortable. Basically, all the scientific technologies rest on electricity.
  • Medicine and Surgery – Science has given wonderful medicines which give immediate relief to us. Science has helped overcome many dangerous and deadly diseases. Many vaccinations and medicines have been discovered to save people from different diseases. Now, almost every part of the human body can be transplanted by surgery. This can give us eyes to see, ears to hear and legs to walk. Scientists are innovating new and improved methods for surgeries. Medical science has undergone unbelievable improvements. Blood transfusion and organ transplantation are now possible. The invention of X-Ray, Ultrasonography, ECG, MRI, Penicillin, etc has made diagnoses of problems much easier.
  • Travelling and Transportation – Science has made our traveling fast and comfortable. We can reach any part of the world within few hours. We can travel by buses, cars, trains, ships, airplanes and other vehicles. They not only carry us but also transport goods and materials to faraway places quickly and safely.
  • Communication – Science has brought about a great change in the way of communication. This is not that time when we have to wait for a long time for our letter’s reply. This is the time when we can talk to our relatives even if they are too far away from us. We can talk to them and can even see them on our mobile phones. We can contact them from any part of the world. Mobiles and internet has helped reduce distance between people.
  • Agriculture – Science has proven to be a real friend for farmers. Many innovations and discoveries help farmers grow good quality crop. Harvesting machines, Tractors, Manures and good quality seeds are the gift of science to a farmer. In dairy business, types of machinery are helping to grow their business. Science has improved their lifestyle.
  • Entertainment – The first means of entertainment science has gave us was Radio. People used to listen to songs and news on it. But now science has amazed us by its new innovations in the field of entertainment. Now, we can watch T.V. on our mobiles. We can watch live telecast everywhere. We can watch videos on mobiles, T.V and also on computers. We cannot imagine our lives without these.
  • Education and Industry – Science has urbanized our education and trade sector. The innovation of printing, typing, binding, etc has boosted our education system. Similarly, from invention of needle, scissors, and sewing machine to the invention of heavy industrial machinery has done wonders in the industrial field.


Science has given us various gifts but it can also be used to harm human beings. It has given us rifles as well as bullet-proof jackets. It depends on us as to how we use science – for the welfare of humanity or for the destruction of humanity. We must use science for enhancing our lifestyle and spreading smiles and not for giving tears to someone. Stop the violence and spread happiness everywhere.

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