Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Neil deGrasse Tyson to Host New 'Cosmos,' 34 Years after Carl Sagan's Original

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Neil deGrasse Tyson to Host New 'Cosmos,' 34 Years after Carl Sagan's Original

Article excerpt

"The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe it," the renowned science educator and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson once told Bill Maher.

This Sunday, Dr. Tyson will take to Fox TV to make the wonders of the physical universe all the more believable, with a reboot of Carl Sagan's beloved 1980 PBS series, "Cosmos: A Personal Voyage." After a 34-year interval packed with scientific discoveries - planets outside our solar system, full genome sequencing, the refinement of the Standard Model of particle physics - the sequel, called "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" will again explore "the saga of how we discovered the laws of nature and found our coordinates in space and time," according to a press release.

"The new 'Cosmos' is about opening the door to the widest possible audience, to entertain them, to uplift them, to make them feel the great, the awesome power of the scientific perspective," Dr. Sagan's widow Ann Druyan, a writer, producer, and director for the new show, told Mother Nature News. "When Carl Sagan was alive, we weren't trying to preach to the converted. We wanted to evoke in people, who might have even had hostility to science, a sense of wonder."

The new series arrives just weeks after Bill Nye, the TV science educator, made a highly publicized trip to Kentucky's Creation Museum to debate its founder, Ken Ham, on whether or not the theory of creation is a viable model for explaining human origins.

But Tyson, who gleefully uses Twitter to debunk sins against astronomy as they crop up in Hollywood films (the Oscar-sweeping 'Gravity' included!), has redirected many an interviewer's efforts to engage him in polarizing debates about religion.

"As an educator, I try to get people to be fundamentally curious and to question ideas that they might have or that are shared by others," he said in a recent interview with Huffington Post. …

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