For day 8 of our Black History Month celebration we recognize: Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson!
Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson is an African American astrophysicist, the former host of NOVA ScienceNow, and the fifth head of the Hayden Planetarium.
Born in New York City on October 5, 1958, Tyson shared an early interest in the stars. A graduate of the Bronx High School of Science, Tyson earned a bachelor’s degree in Physics from Harvard University. In 1991, Tyson received his doctorate in astrophysics from Columbia University.
Following his post-doctorate work at Princeton University, Tyson joined the
American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), where he became a research associate of the Department of Astrophysics. At AMNH, Tyson also became the fifth head of the world-renowned Hayden Planetarium, and the first occupant of the planetarium’s Frederick P. Rose Directorship.
In 2001 and 2004, Tyson was appointed by President George Bush to serve on commissions pertaining to aerospace and space exploration. The first commission was a twelve-member commission which focused on the future of the U.S. aerospace industry; while, the second commission was a nine-member commission devised to implement space exploration policy. In 2006, Tyson was appointed by the head of NASA to its Advisory Council to help guide the agency navigate through its restricted budget.
In the fall of 2006, Tyson notably hosted PBS NOVA’s spinoff Nova ScienceNOW, which examined the science that shapes our understanding of our universe.
Aside from his directorship and hostship, Tyson is a New York Times best selling author. In 2012, Tyson released his tenth book Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier, where he expounded upon every thought he had in regards to the future of space exploration.
Tyson is also the recipient of countless awards, honors, and honorary doctorates, which includes a 2004 NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, 2014 Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Reality Show Host, 2015 Cosmos Award by The Planetary Society, and 2017 Hubbard Medal by the National Geographic Society.
Tyson’s role and influence in encouraging science and space exploration goes without saying. Amassing more than 13 million followers on twitter, Tyson has influenced and informed generations about the impact and importance of science and space exploration.