Quotes by: Neil deGrasse Tyson
You've never seen me debate anybody. On anything. Ever. My investment of time, as an educator, in my judgment, is best served teaching people how to think about the world around them. Teach them how to pose a question. How to judge whether one thing is true versus another. What the laws of physics say.
With regard to robots, in the early days of robots people said, 'Oh, let's build a robot' and what's the first thought? You make a robot look like a human and do human things. That's so 1950s. We are so past that.
People who are scientists today are scientists in spite of the system, typically, not because of it.
Everything we do, every thought we've ever had, is produced by the human brain. But exactly how it operates remains one of the biggest unsolved mysteries, and it seems the more we probe its secrets, the more surprises we find.
As a citizen, as a public scientist, I can tell you that Einstein essentially overturned a so strongly established paradigm of science, whereas Darwin didn't really overturn a science paradigm.
All Plutophiles are based in America. If you go to other countries, they have much less of an attachment to either the existence or preservation of Pluto as a planet. Once you investigate that, you find out that Disney's dog Pluto was sketched the same year the cosmic object was discovered. And Pluto was discovered by an American.
You can't train kids in a world where adults have no concept of what science literacy is. The adults are gonna squash the creativity that would manifest itself, because they're clueless about what it and why it matters. But science can always benefit from the more brains there are that are thinking about it - but that's true for any field.
What people are really after is, what is my stance on religion or spirituality or God? And I would say, if I find a word that came closest, it would be agnostic.
The problem is that many people operate on the assumption that NASA should go to Congress every year with hat in hand and justify it every year. Well, I see it as the greatest economic driver that there ever was. Economic drivers don't need justification.
For me, the most fascinating interface is Twitter. I have odd cosmic thoughts every day and I realized I could hold them to myself or share them with people who might be interested.
Every account of a higher power that I've seen described, of all religions that I've seen, include many statements with regard to the benevolence of that power. When I look at the universe and all the ways the universe wants to kill us, I find it hard to reconcile that with statements of beneficence.
There's something about witnessing something in the sky that makes people think they're seeing something unique or special. I don't really understand the psychology of it, to be honest.
There is always a place I can take someone's curiosity and land where they end up enlightened when we're done. That's my challenge as an educator. No one is dumb who is curious. The people who don't ask questions remain clueless throughout their lives.
Although I'm not actually embarrassed by this, I tend not to read books that have awesome movies made from them, regardless of how well or badly the movie represented the actual written story.
Once you have an innovation culture, even those who are not scientists or engineers - poets, actors, journalists - they, as communities, embrace the meaning of what it is to be scientifically literate. They embrace the concept of an innovation culture. They vote in ways that promote it. They don't fight science and they don't fight technology.
The history of exploration across nations and across time is not one where nations said, 'Let's explore because it's fun.' It was, 'Let's explore so that we can claim lands for our country, so that we can open up new trade routes; let's explore so we can become more powerful.'
While I'm a big fan of science fiction, especially as rendered in expensive Hollywood blockbusters, it's the real universe that calls to me.
The caricature of science is that we hold tight to the theories we have, and shun challenges to them. That's just not true. In fact, we hold our highest rewards for those scientists who can prove others wrong. And by the way, they are famous in their own lifetimes. We don't wait until they're dead.
There are thousands of asteroids whose orbit in the Solar System crosses that of Earth. And we have a little acronym for them - NEOs: near Earth objects. And our biggest goal is to try to catalogue them, so we know in advance if one is going to put us at risk.
If you get asteroids about a kilometer in size, those are large enough and carry enough energy into our system to disrupt transportation, communication, the food chains, and that can be a really bad day on Earth.
One of my great laments is that education today seems to have... be less about passion and more about process, more about tactic or technique.
Space in general gave us GPS - that's not specifically NASA, but it's investments in space.
It was unthinkable not long ago that a biologist or paleontologist would be at the same conference as an astrophysicist. Now we have accumulated so much data in each of these branches of science as it relates to origins that we have learned that no one discipline can answer questions of origins alone.