Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson is the most famous astrophysicist of our time. He is the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, where he has served since 1996. He is the two-time host of the beloved TV series Cosmos — rebooting the original 1980 series hosted by Carl Sagan. Dr. Tyson is also the host and cofounder of the Emmy-nominated popular podcast StarTalk and its spinoff StarTalk Sports Edition, which combine science, humour, and pop culture. He is a recipient of 21 honorary doctorates, the Public Welfare Medal from the National Academy of Sciences, and the Distinguished Public Service Medal from NASA. Asteroid 13123 Tyson is named in his honour. In a time when our political and cultural views feel more polarized than ever, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, in his new book Starry Messenger, provides a much-needed antidote to so much of what divides us, while making a passionate case for the twin chariots of enlightenment – a cosmic perspective and the rationality of science. In this interview, I speak to Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. We discuss life, culture and civilisation as seen through a scientific perspective and look at how the universe provides us with the perfect palette to examine truth, beauty, identity, life, and death.

Thought Economics

In late 2017, scientists at a Hawaiian observatory glimpsed a strange object soaring through our inner solar system. Astrophysicist Avi Loeb conclusively showed it was not an asteroid; it was moving too fast along a strange orbit and leaving no trail of gas or debris in its wake. There was only one conceivable explanation: the object was a piece of advanced technology created by a distant alien civilization. Professor Avi Loeb wrote about his encounter with this object, ‘Oumuamua, in his 2021 book Extraterrestrial. In this interview, I speak to Avi Loeb about how we would detect the existence of intelligent civilisations beyond Earth, the implications of such discoveries for science, culture, and our planet and why space archaeology could be our species’ most important project.

Thought Economics

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