If you only know one thing about Neil deGrasse Tyson (The Director of the Hayden Planetarium at The American Museum of Natural History ) it is probably that he was the man who outraged a lot of people when he demoted Pluto—it’s not a planet anymore.
You might also have seen him on Comedy Central or on NOVA scienceNOW—since he is the host. All of which is to say that Tyson has made a career out of making difficult scientific topics popular and fun, and so far he has succeeded. The line for his recent lecture at the Museum stretched around the block, and his wide-ranging talk on "Life, the Universe, and Everything," part of the Museum's SciCafe series, was entertaining and provocative.
Use the player above to listen to the entire event.
On Pluto: 10 years ago we were the first public institution to re-adjust Pluto’s association in the solar system. And we got in big trouble with The New York Times about that, but then the rest of the world has caught on so now the hate mail has diminished significantly, from third graders.—Neil deGrasse Tyson
On how to (correctly) ask a question: I’m an educator, so I will require that you don’t start your question with the word, “um;” I know it’s hard, but it’s for the greater good.—Neil deGrasse Tyson
On funding NASA: How much is NASA getting? It is getting one-half of one penny of the tax dollar—1/200th...and I ask you—how much is the universe worth to you?—Neil deGrasse Tyson