Neil deGrasse Tyson

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Astrophysicist

There is no better role model for children who are interested

in exploring the universe than Neil deGrasse Tyson,

the first Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium.

One of the most respected astrophysicists in the country, he

was born and raised in New York City, where he was educated

in the public schools from elementary school to his

graduation from the Bronx High School of Science. He went

on to earn his BA in Physics from Harvard University and his

PhD in Astrophysics from Columbia University.

Tyson’s professional research interests include star formation,

exploding stars, dwarf galaxies, and the structure

of the Milky Way. In 2001, Tyson was appointed by President

George W. Bush to serve on a 12-member commission that

studied the future of the U.S. Aerospace Industry, and in 2004,

he was once again appointed by President Bush to serve on a

nine-member commission on the Implementation of the U.S.

Exploration Policy, dubbed the “Moon, Mars, and Beyond”

commission.

In addition to dozens of professional publications, Dr.

Tyson has written, and continues to write, for the public.

Since January 1995, he has contributed a monthly column,

“Universe” to Natural History magazine.

Mr. Tyson’s personal story is poignant and enlightening.

A somewhat “nerdy” black child (not always an easy combination),

with a love of astrophysics and the support of his

family, he persevered to a position of leadership and innovation.

His contributions to the public appreciation of the cosmos

have been recognized by the International Astronomical

Union with the naming of asteroid “13123 Tyson.” On the

lighter side, the nerdy kid in 2000 was voted “sexiest astrophysicist

alive” by the readers of People magazine.