USA Science and Engineering Festival: The Blog

–Director of the famous Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Natural History, New York City

— Hosted the science TV show “NOVA scienceNOW” on PBS
–Named to host new sequel to Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” TV series on Fox later in 2013

In addition to his research, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is widely known for using his talents in astroscience to increase science literacy among students and the general public by presenting complex concepts in clear, engaging ways. Influenced by Carl Sagan, Einstein and Richard Feynman. Neil grew up in New York City, where at age 9 he took his first trip to the famous Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Natural History. There, he got his first taste of star-gazing, and he‘s been hooked ever since. Today he is the director of the Hayden Planetarium, in addition to serving as Visiting Research Scientist and Lecturer at Princeton University. One of the few African American astrophysicists, Neil earned his Bachelor’s degree in Physics from Harvard University and his Ph.D. in Astrophysics from Columbia University. Under Neil’s leadership at Hayden, the planetarium successfully completed a $210 million renovation 12 years ago, giving visitors a greatly enhanced look at the marvels of astronomy. A stickler for scientific accuracy (even if it means controversy), Neil came under fire by some segments of the public for his decision at Hayden to remove Pluto from the display of planets at the planetarium. He classified Pluto as a dwarf planet. While some asked for the planet Pluto back, the International Astronomical Union followed Neil’s lead in 2006. The organization officially labeled Pluto as a dwarf planet.

To read the full biography of Neil deGrasse Tyson  and other role models in science and engineering, click here.

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