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Neil deGrasse Tyson

Author of Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

58+ Works 11,070 Members 345 Reviews 22 Favorited

About the Author

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson was born in New York City on October 5, 1958. Interested in astronomy since he was a child, Tyson gave lectures on the topic at the age of 15. He attended the Bronx High School of Science and was the editor-in-chief for its Physical Science Journal. After earning show more a B.A. in Physics from Harvard in 1980, Tyson received an M.A. in Astronomy from the University of Texas at Austin in 1983. He earned his Ph.D. in Astrophysics from Columbia in 1991. Since 1996, Tyson has held the position of Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at Manhattan's American Museum of Natural History. In 2001, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on the Commission on the Future of the United States Aerospace Industry. In 2004, Tyson joined the President's Commission on Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy. He has hosted PBS's television show NOVA scienceNOW since 2006. Tyson can also be seen frequently as a guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, and Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Tyson has written many popular books on astronomy, and he began his "Universe" column for Natural History magazine in 1995. In 2009, he published the bestselling book The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet to describe the controversy over Pluto's demotion to dwarf planet. His other books include Accessory to War: The Unspoken alliance between astrophysics and the military. Tyson was recognized in 2004 with the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, and Time named him one of the 100 Most Influential People of 2007. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson at the November 29, 2005 meeting of the NASA Advisory Council, in Washington, D.C. Photo by NASA

Works by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (2017) — Narrator, some editions — 3,762 copies
Letters from an Astrophysicist (2019) — Author — 296 copies
Universe Down to Earth (1605) 42 copies
Starry Messenger (2022) 10 copies
City of Stars (2002) 2 copies

Associated Works


astronomy (1,439) astrophysics (399) audible (78) audio (56) audiobook (112) audiobooks (33) biology (43) black holes (34) Carl Sagan (48) cosmology (540) cosmos (66) currently-reading (55) ebook (99) essays (79) evolution (66) goodreads (68) hardcover (48) history (206) history of science (88) Kindle (80) non-fiction (1,504) own (69) owned (41) philosophy (58) physics (502) planets (71) Pluto (48) popular science (145) read (120) reference (53) Sagan (35) science (2,490) science fiction (41) solar system (43) space (393) space exploration (56) stars (42) to-read (1,778) universe (131) unread (85)

Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Tyson, Neil deGrasse
Legal name
Tyson, Neil deGrasse
Other names
Tyson, Neil
New York, New York, USA (Manhattan)
Places of residence
New York City, New York, USA
Manhattan, New York, USA
Bronx, New York, USA
Currier House, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Columbia University (M.Phil|1989|Ph.D|1991(
University of Texas at Austin (MA|1983)
Harvard University (BA|1980)
Bronx High School of Science (1976)
television host
planetarium director
research associate
radio host
Degrasse Tyson, Cyril (father)
Planetary Society
New York Academy of Sciences
American Astronomical Society
American Physical Society
Astronomical Society of the Pacific
International Planetarium Society (show all 13)
National Society of Black Physicists
Hayden Planetarium
Rose Center for Earth and Space
American Museum of Natural History
Commission on the Future of the United States Aerospace Industry
President's Commission on Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy
Awards and honors
People Magazine's "Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive" (2000)
Asteroid Namesake "1312 Tyson" (2001)
Columbia University's Medal of Excellence (2001)
NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal (2004)
Klopsteg Memorial Award (2007)
Time's "100 Most Influential People of 2007" (show all 10)
Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award (2009)
Discover Magazine's "50 Best Brains in Science" (2008)
Isaac Asimov Award (2009)
Honorary Doctorate (x18)
Short biography
Neil deGrasse Tyson (born October 5, 1958) is an American astrophysicist, cosmologist, planetary scientist, author, and science communicator.

Since 1996, he has been the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space in New York City. The center is part of the American Museum of Natural History, where Tyson founded the Department of Astrophysics in 1997 and has been a research associate in the department since 2003.

Tyson studied at Harvard University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Columbia University. From 1991 to 1994, he was a postdoctoral research associate at Princeton University. In 1994, he joined the Hayden Planetarium as a staff scientist and the Princeton faculty as a visiting research scientist and lecturer. In 1996, he became director of the planetarium and oversaw its $210 million reconstruction project, which was completed in 2000.

From 1995 to 2005, Tyson wrote monthly essays in the "Universe" column for Natural History magazine, some of which were later published in his books Death by Black Hole (2007) and Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (2017). During the same period, he wrote a monthly column in StarDate magazine, answering questions about the universe under the pen name "Merlin". Material from the column appeared in his books Merlin's Tour of the Universe (1998) and Just Visiting This Planet (1998). Tyson served on a 2001 government commission on the future of the U.S. aerospace industry and on the 2004 Moon, Mars and Beyond commission. He was awarded the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal in the same year. From 2006 to 2011, he hosted the television show NOVA ScienceNow on PBS. Since 2009, Tyson has hosted the weekly podcast StarTalk. A spin-off, also called StarTalk, began airing on National Geographic in 2015. In 2014, he hosted the television series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, a successor to Carl Sagan's 1980 series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences awarded Tyson the Public Welfare Medal in 2015 for his "extraordinary role in exciting the public about the wonders of science".



Cosmos and Giordano Bruno in Let's Talk Religion (April 2014)


A good read, though I would have appreciated an overall picture via an introductory chapter and more tying together of each chapter.
lschiff | 135 other reviews | Sep 24, 2023 |
This book takes me back to conversations at the university café and sharing our favorite parts of new lectures that week. The best lectures left us with ample space to question, investigate and just keep digging and would lead to hours of conversation, debates and throwing our own theories up in the air for someone to expand upon.

Now, in the case of Astrophysics, the mystery that keeps on giving remains Lambda
Dear, dear Dark Matter you mysterious entity you; will we actually see you in our lifetime? Will we actually lay eyes on you or, in the words of Neil deGrasse Tyson:

"For now, we must remain content to carry dark matter along as a
strange, invisible friend, invoking it where and when the universe
requires it of us."

At least we all, almost 8.5 billion people share the same invisible friend.
… (more)
RoadtripReader | 135 other reviews | Aug 24, 2023 |
I so desperately wanted to like this book, but I just didn't. Whenever I find myself avoiding reading it means I'm not enjoying my current book, and it's time to accept that and move on.
blueskygreentrees | 45 other reviews | Jul 30, 2023 |
Neil deGrasse Tyson's "cosmic" perspective in this book is far more down to Earth than you might think. And that's not a bad thing. Starry Messenger takes the long view and applies scientific thinking to the everyday issues we as a modern species struggle with. His reasoning makes perfect sense to me, but if our disagreements were easily resolved by thinking like scientists, then I doubt a book like this would even exist. The truth is people often don't think like scientists at all, far from it, and that causes us a lot of social grief. The personal feelings part of being human tends to get in the way.… (more)
Daniel.Estes | 13 other reviews | May 10, 2023 |



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