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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Neil deGrasse Tyson

In my tribe there are men and women who prove that they are more than capable of making significant advances upon our society, or not!

It is natural to be proud of individuals from our own tribe when they achieve success. Neil de Grasse Tyson is such a person who generates pride. He was born on October 5th, a date that he shares with my son, Nathaniel, although the year is different. Tyson was born in 1958 to his mother Sunchita, a gerontologist of Puerto Rican background; and his father, Cyril, was a sociologist. He was born in Manhattan, but he grew up in The Bronx. He is no relation to Mike Tyson.

Were it not for the guidance and example of his parents, and  his own very strong curiosity and determination to go his own way, he might have become yet another lost soul from a very tough neighbourhood. However, at the age of nine he paid a visit to Pennsylvania where he could clearly see the sky and the stars, and from that moment astronomy called him to the study of The Universe.

He pursued astronomy with a passion, so much so that  his work and his successes came to be recognised by the noted, late, Dr. Carl Sagan, who saw in Tyson, pure genius. Dr. Sagan invited Tyson to join an undergraduate program at Cornell University, and generally took a young Tyson under his wing.

There is so much about Neil deGrasse Tyson to instill enormous pride in me for him. His list of achievements and appearances and Masters, and doctorates and honors is so long that one would have to stop to take breaths several times. Resulting from very hard, but evidently enjoyable work he attained a Doctorate of Philosophy in Astrophysicis. However, he went on to gain at least seventeen other Honory Doctorates, and at least seven Honors, including: Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive.

His career has taken him into cosomology, stellar evolution, galactic atronomy, bulges, and stellar formations. However, as Director of The Hayden Planetarium, Tyson challenged the traditional thinking of simply counting the planet Pluto as number nine of the planets. His approach is to group like objects together. The giant gas planets would all be grouped, as would Pluto be grouped  within like planets. This has led to him receiving a great deal of hate mail, a lot of it coming from children.

Neil deGrasse Tyson is an Astrophysicist, an author, a science communicator, and a repeat television, radio, and print media personality. Currently he is host of National Geographic's "Cosmos" series.

For me to have men of Mr Tyson's talent and dignity to look up to is extremely important because I can bring him to my son's attention, and together we can say: "Yes, we Can!"

Copyright (c) 2014 Eugene Carmichael