NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON: A COSMIC PERSPECTIVE
NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON (2017)
“The most dangerous people in a free society are those who don’t know… It’s okay to not know. But if you don’t know, but think you do know… that is dangerous. Those are the signs of the end of an informed democracy.”
Just because the universe is under no obligation to make sense to us mere homo sapiens, we need not remain complacent. The cosmos will always be replete with questions and quandaries, and that’s exactly why, in July 2017, Think Inc. brought to Australia and New Zealand the return tour of “your personal astrophysicist” Dr Neil deGrasse Tyson in A Cosmic Perspective.
Beloved as an author, scientist, internet meme (we’ve all used it at least once), and enthusiastic science communicator through his public persona, his StarTalk podcast and his hosting of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (2014), Dr Neil deGrasse Tyson is at the forefront of an ongoing movement to produce a society that counters ignorance and promotes scientific curiosity and literacy, critical thinking, and rational approaches to ensure our smooth transitions into a civilised future.
In 2015, we delved into scientific literacy to spaghettification, from gravity to God, and from the climate status of planet to the ‘planet’ status of Pluto, just to name a few. In 2017, the discussion took a different course, opening up to a quiver of new queries: Are we likely to encounter alien life, and will they be protected by the same ethical codes we apply to each other? In the era of ‘post-truth’ and ‘alternative fact’, how have the roles of religion, political dogma and general scientific illiteracy fuelled the war on science and reason in western societies? Are we witnessing another Space Race for exploration, and who do we want (or need) to lead this? Should we be concerned about the rapid sophistication of artificial intelligence, and does it threaten us with extinction? Or can we bypass this possible doom that looms close on the horizon?
The team at Think Inc. could barely contain their excitement at the return of the 21st century’s most recognisable and beloved champion of science and critical thought, and invited the Australian and New Zealand public to share in this excitement in July 2017 with Neil deGrasse Tyson: A Cosmic Perspective: a three-part event that incorporates a personal presentation by Dr Tyson himself, a fire-side chat with a show host, and a half-hour audience Q&A. After the show, a 45-minute meet-and-greet was open to a maximum of 100 special ticket holders.