2010 Commencement remarks by Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and champion of increased science literacy. (Video: 3 min., 1 sec.)
NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON, PH.D. Honorary Doctor of Science
Neil deGrasse Tyson, a renowned astrophysicist, currently serves as Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Dr. Tyson is a leading voice in astrophysics and a champion of increased science literacy for the general public.
Dr. Tyson was born and raised in New York City, where he was educated in the public schools and graduated from the Bronx High School of Science. He went on to earn his B.A. in physics from Harvard and his Ph.D. in astrophysics from Columbia.
Dr. Tyson was appointed by President Bush to serve on a 12-member commission that studied the future of the U.S. aerospace industry. He also was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on a commission on the Implementation of the United States Space Exploration Policy (2004). And in 2006, NASA appointed Dr. Tyson to serve on its prestigious advisory council.
In addition to dozens of professional publications, Dr. Tyson has written a number of books, articles, and essays. Among his nine books are 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.
Dr. Tyson appears as the on-camera host of NOVA ScienceNow, which is an accessible look at the frontier of all the science that shapes the understanding of our place in the universe. His most recent books are Death By Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries and The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet, chronicling his experience at the center of the controversy over Pluto’s planetary status. During the summer of 2009 Dr. Tyson joined with co-host Lynn Koplitz to bring science to commercial radio with the NSF-funded pilot program StarTalk. The target audience of StarTalk is people who never thought they would, or could, like science.
Dr. Tyson is the recipient of nine honorary doctorates and the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal. His contributions to the public appreciation of the cosmos have been recognized by the International Astronomical Union in their official naming of asteroid 13123 Tyson.
Dr. Tyson is the first occupant of the Frederick P. Rose Directorship of the Hayden Planetarium.