Astrophysicist visits WSU for the Presidential Lecture Series
Astrophysicist and host of PBS’s “NOVA ScienceNOW” Neil deGrasse Tyson will present his lecture “Ten Things You Need to Know about the Universe” in the Apollo Room on Thursday, March 7, at 7 p.m.
Tyson’s presentation is part of the “Presidential Lecture Series” at Wright State, and will serve as part of the eighth annual “Honors Institute” organized by the Honors Program. The event is free and does not require registration.
Tyson was also one of the primary astrophysicists involved with revoking Pluto’s status as a planet, instead deeming it a dwarf planet.
Tyson is the Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
Former President George W. Bush appointed him to study the United States Aerospace Industry and the space exploration policy.
University Honors Director Susan Carrafiello said that Tyson fit well with the topic of this year’s “Honors Institute,” which is “Mysteries of the Universe.”
“Dr. Tyson is obviously a perfect fit,” Carrafiello said. “He’ll generate a lot of excitement and interest not just locally and regionally, but even nationally.”
Tyson’s appearance cost Wright State $40,000, according to Interim Director of Ceremonies and Protocol Fran Keeley.
“Typically speakers of this level cost a lot of money, but they do also generate a lot of excitement for the institution,” Carrafiello said.
In addition to his television work, Tyson has also written several books, including 2012’s “Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier,” and 2007’s “Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries.”
Tyson has also appeared on “Late Night with Bill Mahr,” “The Daily Show with John Stewart” and “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.”
“We’ve been getting inquiries from Texas, Colorado, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Virginia from people who want to come to Wright State and see him,” Carrafiello said. “There’s people all over the United States calling asking if they can come.”
Tyson received his B.A. in physics from Harvard and his Ph.D in astrophysics from Columbia. He currently resides in New York City with his wife and two children.
Carrafiello said that attendants should arrive early to make sure they can get a seat.
“I think he’ll be a very exiting figure, a very energetic speaker,” Carrafiello said. “I hope all of the students will be able to come out and see such a fantastic presentation.”
New York Times Science Writer Henry Fountain will also be featured in the “Honors Institute,” and will speak at a luncheon on Friday March 8 at 12:30 p.m. Registration is required for Fountain’s talk.