I love this speech. Neil deGrasse Tyson was interviewed by a TIME journalist for their 10 questions page, and was asked by one reader: “What is the most astounding fact that you can share with us about the universe?” Neil deGrasse Tyson’s response was as lucid and as awe-inspiring as always. He answered the question in a relatively modest three minutes, starting with:
“The most astounding fact… is the knowledge that the atoms that comprise life on Earth—the atoms that make up the human body—are traceable to the crucibles that cooked light elements into heavy elements in their core…”
Tyson is a world-famous astrophysicist and currently serves as director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York. He’s very popular on social media and recently hosted the hit TV series Cosmos, which had the biggest launch day in TV history (and featured a 30-second introduction speech by Barack Obama).
I love Neil deGrasse Tyson’s videos because they inspire people to pursue Science. I show one or two Tyson videos to as many of my students as I can, usually at the beginning of the year. Happy New Year.
Here are some of my other favourite Tyson videos on YouTube:
- My Man, Sir Isaac Newton (2 mins, inspirational, history)
- We Stopped Dreaming (5 mins; inspirational, political)
- Death by Black Hole (5 mins; comedy)
- Storytelling of Science (13 mins; inspirational, history, comedy)
- Space as Culture (90 mins; inspirational, motivational, political)