Neil deGrasse Tyson Set to Deliver Lecture at IPFW

Oct 21, 2014

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson took questions from the press at IPFW before his Omnibus Lecture on Tuesday.
Credit Sean Bueter / WBOI News

Astrophysicist, author, and TV host Neil deGrasse Tyson visits Fort Wayne Tuesday night as part of IPFW’s Omnibus Lecture Series.

The lecture, which caused a stir when tickets sold out less than an hour after going on sale, will focus on the latest scientific discoveries and how they might shape our understanding of the universe.

At a press event Tuesday, Tyson said the American public needs to do a better job of embracing the role and influence of scientific discovery in everyday life.

He says the fruits of scientific discovery are all around us, and if the public doesn’t do a better job of embracing and supporting it, the country will be left behind, “in the cave.”

“We’ll end up in the cave just by standing still, because the rest of the industrialized world knows this and understands it,” Tyson said. “And as they move forward, they’re pulling the cave up behind them, and it’s going to nestle us in it.”

Tyson, who recently hosted the remake of Carl Sagan’s influential TV series, Cosmos, has become one of the country’s preeminent science communicators, appearing often on television, in print, and in person.

He says by the time he was 11 years old, the Bronx-born Tyson already knew he wanted to be an astrophysicist, even though there were few stars to be seen above the city lights and tall buildings.

These days, he says he relishes his role as a scientist and an ambassador of the sciences.

To emphasize the point, he quoted Sagan, one of his childhood heroes.

“When you’re in love, you want to tell the world,” Tyson said. “If you don’t know I’m in love with this topic, then I’ve failed.”

Tyson will share that passion with Fort Wayne Tuesday night at IPFW’s Rhinehart Music Center.