Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of the most quotable of the United States’ scientists. He outdid himself at Drake University in his lecture for the Martin Bucksbaum Distinguished Lecture series though. During the question-and-answer session, an eight-year-old girl named Charlotte announced she wanted to be a scientist. Typical of Dr. deGrasse Tyson’s enthusiasm and genius in delivering a succinct and quotable sentence, he tells her:
The great thing about being a scientist is you never have to grow up. Keep being yourself and don’t let any adults get in the way.
This is not the first time he has spoken to, or of, the best way to inspire children to be scientists and scientifically literate.
The greatest people that have ever been in society, they were never versions of someone else. They were themselves.
If you’re scientifically literate, the world looks very different to you, and that understanding empowers you.
Recognize that the very molecules that make up your body, the atoms that construct those molecules, are traceable to the crucibles that were once the centers of high mass stars that exploded their chemically rich guts into the galaxy, enriching pristine gas clouds with the chemistry of life so that we are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically, and to the rest of the universe atomically. That’s kind of cool! That makes me smile…and I actually feel quite large at the end of that. It’s not that we are better than the universe, it’s that we are part of the universe. We are in the universe and the universe is in us.
DeGrasse Tyson has spawned a whole meme classification in and of himself with his memorable delivery style.
He even called the Senate to the carpet regarding NASA’s funding saying:
The 2008 bank bailout of $750 billion was greater than all the money NASA had received in its half-century history; two years? U.S. military spending exceeds it as well.
In the midst of political battles and election angst, Dr. deGrasse Tyson reminds us of the best parts of our country and what we are accomplishing with our elections and our rhetoric.
Edited by SS