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Feb. 8: Neil deGrasse Tyson talks about “The Cosmic Perspective”

Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist who writes a monthly column for Natural History magazine, is well known for his ability to explain the universe in terms that most Earthlings can understand, and will deliver the J. James Woods Lecture in the Sciences and Mathematics, “The Cosmic Perspective.”

When: Wednesday February 8, 7:30 PM

Where: Butler University, Clowes Hall

Neil deGrasse Tyson is the first occupant of the Frederick P. Rose Directorship of the Hayden Planetarium where he also teaches. Tyson's professional research interests include star formation, exploding stars, dwarf galaxies, and the structure of our Milky Way. Tyson obtains his data from the Hubble Space Telescope, as well as from telescopes in California, New Mexico, Arizona, and in the Andes Mountains of Chile.

In 2001, Tyson was appointed by President Bush to serve on a 12-member commission that studied the Future of the US Aerospace Industry. The final report was published in 2002 and contained recommendations (for Congress and for the major agencies of the government) that would promote a thriving future of transportation, space exploration, and national security. In 2004, Tyson was once again appointed by President Bush to serve on a 9-member commission on the Implementation of the United States Space Exploration Policy, dubbed the "Moon, Mars, and Beyond" commission. This group navigated a path by which the new space vision can become a successful part of the American agenda.

In addition to dozens of professional publications, Dr. Tyson has written, and continues to write for the public. He is a monthly essayist for Natural History magazine under the title "Universe." And among Tyson's seven books is his memoir The Sky is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist; and Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution, co-written with Donald Goldsmith. Origins is the companion book to the PBS-NOVA 4-part mini-series Origins in which Tyson serves as on-camera host.

Tyson's contributions to the public appreciation of the cosmos have recently been recognized by the International Astronomical Union in their official naming of asteroid "13123 Tyson". On the lighter side, Tyson was voted "Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive" in the 2000 People Magazine "Sexiest Man Alive" issue.

If the issues of science and society fascinate you -- and they should! -- you should check out the "Realms of Science and Religion" conference March 4, and cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker on April 12.

This talk is free and open to the public.

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