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Who is my favorite astrophysist?

February 28, 2012

Neil deGrasse Tyson.  I heard him yesterday on NPR talking about his new book, Space Chronicles: Facing the ultimate frontier.  While I love space fiction, deGrasse Tyson defines the field of space exploration in practical terms.  He holds that not only is the field full of wow, it is,

“. . . a force of nature unto itself that no other force in society can rival. Not only does that get people interested in sciences and all the related fields, [but] it transforms the culture into one that values science and technology, and that’s the culture that innovates. And in the 21st century, innovations in science and technology are the foundations of tomorrow’s economy.”

From the man who says, “Pluto is no longer a planet – get over it!” He also advises:

“What [the president] needs to say is, ‘We need to double NASA’s budget because not only is it the grandest epic adventure a human being can undertake, not only would the people who led this adventure be the ones we end up building statues to and naming high schools after and becoming the next generation’s Mercury 7 as role models, not only will there be spinoff products from these discoveries, but what’s more important than all of those, what’s more practical than all of those, is that we will transform the economy into one that will lead the world once again rather than trail the world as we are inevitably going to be doing over the next decade.’ “

Remember Zepharim Cochran High School?  I think it’s time to lobby our representatives to make that happen in this reality.

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