Other Free Encyclopedias » Online Encyclopedia » Encyclopedia - Featured Articles » Contributed Topics from P-T » Tyson, Neil de Grasse(1958–) - Astrophysicist, writer, Chronology

Scholarship for Narrow and Broad Audiences

tyson science book universe

Tyson’s research shows his commitment to scholarship and public awareness. His studies in astrophysics have included dwarf galaxies, the nucleus of the galaxy, star formations, star evolution, supernovae (explosions of massive stars), and the structure of the Milky Way galaxy. His research uses observations made with large telescopes located in Arizona, California, New Mexico, and the Andes Mountains in Chile. The Hubble Space Telescope has also been a source of data for his work. He has written books for the general public that explain complex phenomenon for a broad, non-academic audience. Books written for a general audience include Merlin’s Tour of the Universe (1989), Universe Down to Earth (1994), and Just Visiting This Planet (1998). Merlin’s Tour of the Universe was published while Tyson was still in graduate school. The book consists of articles written by Tyson for Star Date magazine. He won the American Institute of Physics 2001 Science Writing Award for the book he wrote with Charles Lui and Robert Irion, One Universe at Home in the Cosmos (2000). Tyson and Lui also prepared an online version of the book with links and review questions. In 2004, Tyson co-authored Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution , with Donald Goldsmith. This book is a supplement to the PBS Nova series on cosmic origins. The book discusses different subjects related to science and astronomy, including the origins of life and the universe. His book, Death by Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries , was anticipated to appear in 2006.

Tyson’s academic papers and articles have appeared in the Astronomical Journal . From 1983 to 1998, he wrote a monthly response column for Stardate magazine. Since 1995, Tyson has written a column for Natural History magazine entitled “Universe.” He has conducted colloquia on various topics related to astronomy and physics at major universities and colleges, including Yale University, Duke University, Penn State University, and Stanford University.

Tyson is a member of the National Society of Black Physicists, the American Astronomical Society, and the American Physical Society, and he is a Fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences. His contributions to the sciences have brought him appointments to national commissions, committees, councils, and boards, some of which are relevant to the national space program and to scientific studies in education. In 1997, he was appointed to NASA’s Space Science Advisory Committee in Washington, D.C. From 1997 to 2002, he was a member of the Astronomy Education Board of the American Astronomical Society in Washington, D.C. From 2000 through 2003, he served on the National Science Foundation’s Math and Physical Science Directorate Advisory Committee in Arlington, Virginia. He has been appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on two commissions and one committee. Tyson was a part of a twelve-member commission on the Future of the United States Aerospace Industry. He served on this commission from September 2001 to November 2002; the commission provided recommendations for Congress and other government agencies. From 2003 to 2005, he served on a committee for the Selection of the Presidential Medal of Science. In 2004, he was a part of a nine-member presidential commission on the Implementation of the United States Space Exploration Policy.

Tyson has provided expert commentary on national news programs. Since 1995, he has made several appearances on national news programs, including CNN’s American Morning , ABC’s Good Morning America , NBC’s Today Show , ABC’s World News , and CBS’s Evening News . He has provided insight into topics such as the research for other life and planets in the universe, NASA’s budget, and missions to the moon and Mars. In 2004, Tyson hosted and provided commentary for Origins , the PBS Nova four-part mini series.

At the Hayden Planetarium, Tyson acts as director, research, and teacher. He teaches classes such as the ones that inspired him as a child. As director of the planetarium, he has contributed to the facility’s growth. In 2000, the planetarium was enlarged. The new 300,000 square-foot facility was designed to attract more visitors. Tyson has been awarded numerous grants to fund scientific programs, especially educational programs. He has also received an honorary doctor of science degree from several universities and colleges in recognition of his valuable contributions to academe. He was recognized by Crain Magazine in 2001 as being among the top one hundred most influential technology leaders in New York. He also was recognized by Crain Magazine in 2003 as one of one hundred most powerful minority business leaders in New York. Tyson’s commitment to research and to education is evidenced by his continued research, teaching, service, and publications.

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