Neil deGrasse Tyson - Space Chronicles
Posted: 02 April 2012 01:13 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Host: Chris Mooney

This week, Point of Inquiry is thrilled to welcome back one of our most popular guests: Neil deGrasse Tyson, the famed astrophysicist and Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City.

Last time we had him on, Dr. Tyson engaged in a wide ranging discussion about science communication and the place of science in America.

This time, we focus in on his new book—Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier—and his call for revitalizing NASA and letting it play a central role in reconnecting America and science.

Neil deGrasse Tyson is America’s most pre-eminent science communicator. In addition to his work at the Hayden Planetarium and his books and television appearances, he is also the host of Star Talk Radio.

http://www.pointofinquiry.org/neil_degrasse_tyson_space_chronicles/

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Posted: 08 April 2012 03:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I hadn’t realized what a dreamer Tyson is.

Ready to spend trillion$ for going to Mars and other space destinations and tourism is supposed to fund it?  Or was that mining (having spent a little time in a hard rock mine and a lot of time in mining country it seems the thought of making money off mining another planet is as fanciful as it gets.  Science… what science?  Get a handle on asteroids… nifty… perhaps that might save our butt one day…  but, there are other more immediate and guaranteed mega problems facing society and our planet.

Don’t get me wrong,
I’d love to see NASA’s budget doubled, but that money should be invested where it is needed, right down here on Earth to help get a handle on our runaway Atmospheric GHG Experiment.  What’s the point of dreaming of outer space when we are destroying the one and only home humanity will ever have?

And thanks to our collective inaction - and the momentum behind the changes our GHG salting of the atmosphere has initiated - we don’t have decades to figure it out!  angry

... all in all a fairly disappointing interview.
long face

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Posted: 09 April 2012 01:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I have started to cringe when Chris says “libertarians” because I realize he’s about to attribute something he views as negative to libertarians that probably should be attributed to conservatives instead. One of the prior interviews he said that the anti-global warming trend is a libertarian one, but he has also interviewed Michael Shermer, who identified himself as a libertarian and has said that he believes in anthropogenic global warming. Additionally, there are a lot of prominent conservatives who regularly call global warming a hoax (Rush Limbaugh for example).
Further, the prepper community tends to lean libertarian and yet is heavily focused on individual energy independence using renewable forms of energy, local produce and many other darling ideas of the conservationist left. Whether or not they believe in anthropogenic climate change, they behave in a way that—according to most proponents of the anthropocentric climate change view—works towards solving the problem.
This time he allows Tyson to set up a largely straw man argument, but then since neither of them are libertarians or sympathetic to their ideas none of their ideas are given a fair defense.

Also, I have the utmost respect for Tyson as a physicist, but he is a poor economist (and given that I don’t think he was trained in it then there is nothing wrong with that). There is a tendency to assume jobs into existence with such programs. No doubt that if more money was spent on space exploration and that the program was expanded that they would create some specific jobs. However it does not follow that it would create net jobs. The NASA jobs would be ones requiring high skilled, highly educated people, but that is precisely the sector that has the lowest rate of unemployment. What is more likely to happen is that people hired for those positions would already be employed in another position somewhere else, not from unemployed people. The positions they leave open will have to be filled with other people from the same pool of labor. The point I am trying to illustrate that there are lots of factors involved in any given sector of the economy and it’s not just as simple as spending money on something to “create jobs.”
Further, he makes a lot of claims regarding positive economic benefit, but never cites any research backing these claims up. I can only surmise that he has assumed that these will be the benefits without ever researching it. This standard would never be accepted in his own field of expertise and I am disappointed that it is the standard he uses for a different field. We need to hold all types of analysis to a high standard.

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Posted: 09 April 2012 03:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Always a pleasure to listen to Tyson talk.

I don’t know how practical some of his dreams are right now, he makes it sound so easy, but it’s great to have someone out there trying to stir up a fascination with science and astronomy in the general public.

The same day I listen to this podcast I read this article: Russia plans moon visits & eventual manned lunar base after 2020

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Posted: 10 April 2012 06:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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King - 09 April 2012 03:33 PM

Always a pleasure to listen to Tyson talk.

I don’t know how practical some of his dreams are right now, he makes it sound so easy, but it’s great to have someone out there trying to stir up a fascination with science and astronomy in the general public.

Exactly.

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Posted: 19 July 2012 11:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Tyson is spot on.  The “fever” of innovation in the 1960s, fueled by our ambition to go to the moon, spawned innovation in areas that reach way beyond space exploration.  But if it wasn’t for the manned space program, fewer kids in that day would have been impassioned enough to become innovators.  People like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates grew up during that time and became innovators who changed the world.

I remember when I was in the 6th grade an astronaut came and talked to our class.  I was completely hooked on that day.  That was the seed that motivated me to pursue engineering.  Since then, I’ve secured a couple of patents in renewable energy.  I never went to work for NASA, but my inspiration to work hard and study math came directly from manned space exploration.

As Tyson said, we need to do this again.  If we focus on going to the stars we will inspire people to innovate and every problem on earth will be solved.

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