For me, I am driven by two main philosophies: know more today about the world than I knew yesterday and lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you.”

Neil Degrasse Tyson, author and scientist

Tyson is a favorite contemporary scientist for many of  us– watch his Cosmos TV program for a weekly fix. He’s especially prominent this week educating people about the latest US Mars landing on Thursday. Did you see it?

I agree with Tyson that science goes hand in hand with ethics and spirituality since science helps reveal our deep connections with the world and it’s creatures (including us). Once we can sense and feel those connections then empathy and compassion naturally. I agree with him that science goes hand in hand with ethics and spirituality, since science helps reveal our deep connections with the universe and it’s creatures (including us). Once we can sense and feel those connections, then empathy and compassion naturally follow.

Who is your favorite scientist? And when was the last time somebody asked you that question? We should ask more often.

2 Comments

  1. Hop David on February 21, 2021 at 5:03 pm

    The recent U.S. landing wasn’t lunar — it was on Mars.

    It is a stretch to call Tyson a scientist. He flunked out of his first attempt at a doctorate with his University of Texas doctoral committee suggesting Neil pursue a different career path. They told him he had little aptitude for physics. And I have to agree with them after watching Neil drop a number of steaming piles of bad physics in his shows.

    Tyson did get a pass from R. Michael Rich and company at Princeton. His doctorate was counting nova in the galactic bulge. It seems to me grunt work assigned by Rich.

    Since his forgettable dissertation in the 1990s, Tyson has done practically zero research. Rather his thing has been flashy pop science, mostly stuff people should have learned in high school. And Neil often gets even that wrong.

    To answer your question, my favorite scientist is Alan Stern. But Amy Mainzer is a close second. Dante Lauretta is also one of my favorites.

  2. Emilie Richards on February 21, 2021 at 7:01 pm

    A man with a PhD from Columbia certainly must have had an “aptitude for physics.” Not sure where you got your information, but Wikipedia has this to say: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neil_deGrasse_Tyson I’m glad you shared your favorite scientists—and pointed out the “lunar” typo. The landing was so energizing to watch.

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