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Neil deGrasse Tyson testifying before the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Curriculum Vitae

Summary

Education

Graduate:

  • Doctorate

    Astrophysics, May 1991

    Columbia University, New York City

    Research area: Galactic Bulge: chemical evolution, abundances, and structure

    Advisor: Prof. R. Michael Rich

  • Master of Philosophy

    Astrophysics, May 1989

    Columbia University, New York City

    Research area: Stellar Evolution

  • Masters of Arts

    Astronomy, May 1983

    University of Texas, Austin, Texas

    Research area: Star Formation models for Dwarf Galaxies

    Advisor: Prof. John M. Scalo

College:

Bachelor of Arts

Physics, June 1980

Harvard University

Cambridge, Massachusetts

High School:

Astrophysics Emphasis

June 1976

The Bronx High School of Science

Bronx, New York

Employment History

  1. Visiting Research Scientist and Lecturer

    Department of Astrophysical Sciences

    Princeton University

    July 1994 – June 2003

  2. Project Scientist

    $210 Million Reconstruction

    Hayden Planetarium

    Rose Center for Earth and Space

    January 1997 – February 2000

  3. Founder and Chair

    Department of Astrophysics

    American Museum of Natural History

    December 1997 – June 1999

  4. Acting Director

    American Museum - Hayden Planetarium

    June 1995 – April 1996

  5. Staff Scientist

    American Museum - Hayden Planetarium

    July 1994 – May 1995

  6. Postdoctoral Research Associate

    Department of Astrophysics

    Princeton University

    July 1991 – June 1994

  7. Lecturer

    Department of Astronomy

    University of Maryland

    January 1987 – December 1987

Research Publications

  1. The Faint-End Slopes of Galaxy Luminosity Functions in the COSMOS Field

    C. T. Liu et al., 2008, Astrophysical Journal Letters, v.672, p.198

  2. COSMOS: Hubble Space Telescope Observations

    N. Scoville et al., 2007, Astrophysical Journal Supplement, v.172, p.38

  3. The Cosmic Evolution Survey (COSMOS): Overview

    N. Scoville et al., 2007, Astrophysical Journal Supplement, v.172, p.1

  4. Optical light curves of the Type IA supernovae SN 1990N and 1991T

    P. Lira et al., 1998, Astronomical Journal, v.115, p.234

    (See also Erratum: 1998, Astronomical Journal, v.116, p.1006)

  5. BVRI Light Curves For 29 Type Ia Supernovae

    M. Hamuy et al., 1996, Astronomical Journal, v.112, p.2408

  6. The Type Ia Supernova 1989B in NGC3627 (M66)

    L. A. Wells et al., 1994, Astronomical Journal, v.108, p.2233

  7. The Expanding Photosphere Method Applied to SN1992am at cz = 14600 km/s

    B. P. Schmidt et al., 1994, Astronomical Journal, v.107, p.1444

  8. On the Possibility of a Major Impact on Uranus in the Past Century

    Neil D. Tyson et al, 1993, Astronomy & Astrophysics (Research Notes), v.275, p.630

  9. An Exposure Guide for Taking Twilight Flatfields with Large Format CCDs

    Neil D. Tyson & Roy R. Gal, 1993, Astronomical Journal, v.105, p.1206

  10. Radial Velocity Distribution and Line Strengths of 33 Carbon Stars in the Galactic Bulge

    Neil D. Tyson & R. Michael Rich, 1991, Astrophysical Journal, v.367, p.547

  11. On the possibility of Gas-Rich Dwarf Galaxies in the Lyman-alpha Forest

    Neil D. Tyson, 1988, Astrophysical Journal (Letters), v.329, p.L57

  12. Bursting Dwarf Galaxies: Implications for Luminosity Function, Space Density, and Cosmological Mass Density

    Neil D. Tyson & John M. Scalo, 1988, Astrophysical Journal, v.329, p.618

  13. uvby Photometry of Blue Stragglers in NGC 7789

    Bruce A. Twarog & Neil D. Tyson, 1985, Astronomical Journal, v.90, p.1247

Books

  1. Welcome to the Universe in 3D

    Neil deGrasse Tyson, Michael Strauss, J. Richard Gott, III, and Robert Vanderbei

    Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ) Spring 2021 (in press)

    Coming Spring 2022. A lavishly illustrated exploration of cosmic objects in 3D.

  2. A Brief Welcome to the Universe

    Neil deGrasse Tyson, Michael Strauss, J. Richard Gott, III

    Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ) Fall 2021 (in press)

    Coming Fall 2022. A portable and accessible version of the textbook Welcome to the Universe.

  3. Cosmic Queries: StarTalk’s Guide to Who We Are, How We Got Here, and Where We’re Going.

    Neil deGrasse Tyson with James Trefil

    National Geographic Books (Washington DC), March 2021

    The most profound questions about our existence, along with past, present, and future of the universe, answered.

  4. Letters from an Astrophysicist

    Neil deGrasse Tyson

    W. W. Norton & Company (New York), October 2019

    Culled from decades of correspondence with the general public, these hundred letters span the range from personal to profound.

  5. Accessory to War: The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military

    Neil deGrasse Tyson and Avis Lang

    W. W. Norton & Company (New York), September 2018

    A review and assessment of the centuries-old relationship between the study of the universe and the waging of war, with emphasis on the technologies common to both.

  6. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

    Neil deGrasse Tyson

    W. W. Norton & Company (New York), May 2017

    A brief, playful introduction to modern astrophysics.

  7. Welcome to the Universe: An Astrophysical Tour

    Neil deGrasse Tyson, Michael A. Strauss, & J. Richard Gott III

    Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), November 2016

    Based on a popular astrophysics course with math, but for non-majors, co-taught at Princeton university.

  8. StarTalk: The Book

    Neil deGrasse Tyson and the staff of StarTalk Radio & Television

    National Geographic Books (Washington, DC), September 2016

    A playful compendium of the science, humor, and pop culture, which, when woven together, comprises the award winning StarTalk Radio & Television show.

  9. Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier

    Neil deGrasse Tyson. Edited by Avis Lang

    W. W. Norton & Company (New York), Feb 27, 2012

    Reflections on the mismatch between the public’s vision of our future in space and persistent geo-political forces that thwart them.

  10. The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet

    Neil deGrasse Tyson

    W. W. Norton & Company (New York), 2009

    An exposition of the often-tempestuous correspondence between Tyson and his colleagues as well as between Tyson and school children—all over the demotion of Pluto from its planet status.

  11. Death By Black Hole, And Other Cosmic Quandaries

    Neil deGrasse Tyson

    W. W. Norton & Company (New York), 2007

    Anthology of the best essays that have appeared in Natural History magazine under the title “Universe.”

  12. Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution

    Neil deGrasse Tyson & Donald Goldsmith

    W. W. Norton & Company (New York), 2004

    The remarkable beginnings of life, the universe, and everything. Companion Book to the PBS-NOVA series on cosmic origins. Premiered September 28-29, 2004

  13. Cosmic Horizons: Astronomy at the Cutting Edge

    Steven Soter & Neil deGrasse Tyson, eds.

    The New Press (New York), 2001

    A collection of twenty contributed essays on the modern frontier of astrophysics, with commentary and historical material added by the editors. A book conceived along with the 2000 opening of the Hayden Planetarium and Rose Center for Earth and Space.

  14. The Sky Is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist

    Neil deGrasse Tyson

    Doubleday (New York), 2000

    Revised and updated: Prometheus Books, Amherst, NY, 2004

    Autobiographical reflections.

  15. One Universe: At Home in the Cosmos

    Neil deGrasse Tyson, Charles Liu, & Robert Irion

    Joseph Henry Press of the National Academy of Sciences (Washington, DC), 2000

    Winner: American Institute of Physics, 2001 Science Writing Award

    The connections of astrophysics with everyday life. The companion book to the 2000 opening of the Hayden Planetarium and Rose Center for Earth and Space.

  16. Just Visiting this Planet

    Neil deGrasse Tyson

    Main Street Books, an imprint of Doubleday (New York), 1998

    A collection of six years from a Q & A column written monthly for Star Date Magazine. Sequel to Merlin’s Tour of the Universe (see below) that contains chapters of questions about astronomy and space asked by the general public and answered through the pen name “Merlin.”

  17. Universe Down to Earth

    Neil deGrasse Tyson

    Columbia University Press (New York), 1994

    Essays on special topics in astronomy that evolved principally from invited talks and lectures delivered for introductory college astronomy classes at Columbia University, University of Maryland, and University of Texas. The book uses creative “household” analogies to help bring complex topics of the universe to the lay reader.

  18. Merlin’s Tour of the Universe

    Neil deGrasse Tyson

    Columbia University Press (New York), 1989

    Thirteen chapters of questions about astronomy and space asked by the general public and answered through the pen name “Merlin.”

Chapters and Forewords

  1. Foreword

    In Black Holes, Stars, Earth & Mars: Astronomy Poems for All Ages

    By Sean Raymond with illustrations by Owen Raymond

    Independently published, 2020

  2. Foreword

    In The American Museum of natural History and How It Got That Way

    By Colin Davey with Thomas A. Lesser

    Paperback Edition, Empire State Editions (New York), 2020

  3. Foreword

    In Look Up With Me—Neil deGrasse Tyson: A Life Among the Stars

    By Jennifer Berne with illustrations by Lorraine Nam

    Katherine Tegen Books (New York, NY), 2019

  4. Foreword: “The Language of the Universe”

    In Mathematics and Art: A Cultural History

    By Lynn Gamwell

    Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 2015

  5. Foreword: “Reflections on Carl Sagan’s Cosmos”

    In Cosmos

    By Carl Sagan

    Random House (New York, NY), 1980; 2014

  6. Foreword

    In The Universe of Peter Max

    By Peter Max

    Harper Design (New York, NY), 2013

  7. Chapter: “Delusions of Space Enthusiasts”

    In The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2007, pp. 53–60

    Edited by Richard Preston and Tim Folger

    Mariner Books (New York), 2007

    Adapted from a Natural History Magazine essay

  8. Foreword

    In Fly Me to the Moon: An Insider’s Guide to the New Science of Space Travel

    By Edward Belbruno

    Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 2007

  9. Foreword

    In The Cosmic Perspective - Textbook

    By Jeffrey Bennett, Megan Donahue, Nicholas Schneider, and Mark Voit

    Benjamin Cummings Press (San Francisco), 2006

  10. Foreword

    In Exploring the Invisible: Art, Science, and the Spiritual

    By Lynn Gamwell

    Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 2005

  11. Chapter: “Reach for Your Own Star”

    In Kids Who Think Outside the Box

    Edited by Stephanie Lerner

    AMACOM (New York), 2005

  12. Chapter: “The Sky Is Not the Limit”

    In Open the Unusual Door

    Edited by Barbara Summers

    Graphia (New York), 2005

    Adapted from memoir, The Sky Is Not the Limit.

  13. Chapter: “Gravity in Reverse”

    In The Best American Science Writing 2004, pp. 53–60

    Edited by Dava Sobel

    Ecco/HarperCollins (New York), 2004

    Adapted from a Natural History Magazine article

  14. Chapter: “Holy Wars: An Astrophysicist Ponders the God Question”

    In Science and Religion: Are They Compatible, pp. 73–79

    Edited by Paul Kurtz and Barry Karr

    Prometheus Books (Amherst, NY), 2003

    Adapted from a Natural History Magazine essay

  15. Chapter: “Powers of Ten”

    In Power, the book compendium of the 2002 Darwin Lecture Series of the same name

    Darwin College, University of Cambridge.

    Cambridge University Press (Cambridge), 2003

  16. Chapter: “Space Travel Troubles”

    In Looking Backward, Looking Forward: Forty Years of U.S. Human Space Flight, p. 127

    Edited by Steve J. Garber

    NASA (Washington D.C.), 2002

    Adapted from a televised May 8, 2001 presentation in a George Washington University NASA symposium

  17. Chapter: “Space, You Can’t Get There from Here”

    In Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Issues in Science, Technology, and Society, p. 175

    Edited by Thomas A. Easton

    McGraw-Hill/Dushkin (Guilford, CT), 2002

    Adapted from Space Travel Troubles in Natural History magazine.

  18. Chapter: “Space, You Can’t Get There from Here”

    In The Well-Crafted Argument, p. 427

    Edited by Fred E. White & Simone J. Billings

    Houghton Mifflin Co. (Boston), 2001

    Adapted from Space Travel Troubles in Natural History magazine.

  19. Chapter: “Science’s Endless Golden Age”

    In The Invisible Future: The Seamless Integration of Technology with Everyday Life, p. 1

    Edited by Peter J. Denning

    McGraw Hill (New York), 2001

  20. Chapter: “Certain Uncertainties”

    In Skeptical Odysseys, p. 176

    Edited by Paul Kurtz

    Prometheus Books (Amherst, NY), 2001

  21. Chapter: “What are the Grand Questions of Science”

    In Closer to Truth: Challenging Current Belief, p. 311

    Edited by Robert Lawrence Kuhn

    McGraw Hill (New York), 2000

    From a PBS televised panel

  22. Chapter: “What are the next breakthroughs in science”

    In Closer to Truth: Challenging Current Belief, p. 325

    Edited by Robert Lawrence Kuhn

    McGraw Hill (New York), 2000

    From a PBS televised panel

  23. Chapter: “Paths to Discovery”

    In The Columbia History of the 20th Century, p. 461

    Edited by Richard Buillet

    Columbia Press (New York), 1998

Assorted Published Writing

Major Media Appearances

Assorted Film Appearances

  1. The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time

    Sy Fy Channel

    Released: July 25, 2018

    Cameo: “Merlin”

  2. Future ’38

    Indie Film

    Released: December 1, 2017

    Cameo: Himself

    Audio Comment Track for DVD/BluRay Extras

  3. Ice Age 5: Collision Course

    20th Century Fox

    Released: July 22, 2016

    Animated Cameo: “Neil deBuck Weasel”

  4. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

    Warner Brothers Pictures

    Released: March 25, 2016

    Cameo: Himself

  5. Zoolander 2

    Paramount

    Released: February 12, 2016

    Cameo: Himself

  6. The Quiet Earth

    Indie Film

    Released: October 18, 1986

    Audio Comment Track for DVD/BluRay Extras

Assorted Television Appearances

  1. The Big Bang Theory

    “The Conjugal Configuration”

    Season 12, Episode 1

    Aired: September 24, 2018

    CBS

    Cameo: Playing myself

  2. The Simpsons

    Cameo: Playing myself

  3. Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow

    Single Player Video Game

    Aired: June 29, 2017

    Animated Cameo: Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Head

  4. The Simpsons

    “The Caper Chase”

    Season 28, Episode 19

    Aired: April 2, 2017

    FOX

    Animated Cameo: Playing myself

  5. Regular Show

    “Terror Tales of the Park VI”

    Season 8, Episodes 19–20

    Aired: October 27, 2016

    Comedy Central

    Animated Cameo: Playing myself

  6. Future Worm

    Animated Cameo: Playing myself

  7. Bojack Horseman

    “That’s Too Much Man!”

    Season 3, Episode 11

    Aired: July 22, 2016

    Netflix

    Animated Cameo: Playing myself

  8. 100 Things To Do Before High School

    “Meet Your Idol Thing!”

    Episode 22

    Aired: February 6, 2016

    Nickelodeon

    Cameo: Playing myself

  9. Family Guy

    “Scammed Yankees”

    Season 14, Episode 12

    Aired: January 17, 2016

    FOX

    Animated Cameo: Playing myself

  10. Family Guy

    “The Big Bang Theory”

    Season 9, Episode 16

    Aired: May 8, 2011

    FOX

    Science Advisor end-card

  11. The Big Bang Theory

    “The Apology Insufficiency”

    Season 4, Episode 7

    Aired: November 4, 2010

    CBS

    Cameo: Playing myself

  12. StarGate Atlantis

    “Brain Storm”

    Season 5, Episode 16

    Aired: November 21, 2008

    Sci-Fi Channel

    Cameo: Playing myself (appearing with Bill Nye)

Notable Script References

  1. The Big Bang Theory

    “The Proposal Proposal”

    Season 11, Episode 1

    Aired: September 25, 2017

    CBS

    Time stamp: Approximately 8 min

    Amy Farrah Fowler

    You know what, Sheldon? You’re not always the smartest person in every room. You may not even be the smartest person in this room.

    Sheldon Cooper

    Oh, I am sorry. What, is Neil deGrasse Tyson hiding behind the couch? ’Cause if he is, he’s not that smart; it’s pretty dusty back there.

  2. Orange is the New Black

    “Fool Me Once”

    Season 1, Episode 12

    Aired: July 11, 2013

    Netflix

    Time stamp: Approximately 50 min

    Chapman

    No, see, this isn’t “doubts.” I believe in science. I believe in evolution. I believe in Nate Silver, and Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Christopher Hitchens, although I do admit he could be kind of an asshole. I cannot get behind some supreme being who weighs in on the Tony awards while a million people get whacked with machetes. I don’t believe a billion Indians are going to hell, I don’t think we get cancer to learn life lessons, and I don’t believe that people die young because God needs another angel. I think it’s just bullshit, and on some level I think we all know that, I mean, [addressing other Christians] don’t you?

  3. StarGate Atlantis

    “Trio”

    Season 4, Episode 16

    Aired: February 8, 2008

    Sci-Fi Channel

    Time stamp: Approximately 15 min

    Keller

    Well, want to play twenty questions? I’ll let you go first. Animal, vegetable, or mineral?

    Carter

    I’m good. Thanks.

    Keller

    (sighing)

    Well, here’s a better one we can play. Brad Pitt or George Clooney? If you had to choose.

    Carter

    Mmm… Clooney, I guess.

    Keller

    Pitt all the way. Okay, you go. Come on, it’s easy. Any two guys I would know.

    Carter

    Okay, okay. Uh… Brian Greene or Neil deGrasse Tyson?

    (Keller stares at Carter with a blank look.)

    Carter

    They’re physicists.

    Keller

    Uh-huh.

    Carter

    They’re on TV. I picked ones you should know.

    Keller

    (shrugging)

    Uh… Brian Greene, I guess?

    Carter

    (shaking her head)

    Pfft… Tyson, all the way.

    McKay

    Are you talking about Neil deGrasse Tyson? He once stole an idea from me. Did I tell you that story?

    Carter

    Only about a dozen times, McKay.

Professional Societies

Memberships

Honorific Memberships

Selected Honors

  1. Webby Award

    Best Host, Science & Education: StarTalk Podcast, 2019

  2. Stephen Hawking Medal for Outstanding Communication

    Award Ceremony: Starmus Festival, Trondheim, Norway, June 2017

  3. Hubbard Medal for Distinction in Exploration, Discovery, and Research

    National Geographic Society, Washington, DC, June 2017

  4. Emmy Nomination: Outstanding Informational Programming

    StarTalk, NatGeo Channel, Award Ceremony: September 2016

  5. Knight Innovation Award—CUNY School of Journalism, NYC

    For innovative use of media. October 2015

  6. Public Welfare Medal—National Academy of Sciences, DC

    Highest award of the NAS, for bringing science to nation. April 2015

  7. iTunes Best podcasts of 2014

    StarTalk—Sirius XM “Insight” Channel 121

  8. Emmy Nomination: Outstanding Narration

    Hubble’s Cosmic Journey, NatGeo Channel, Award Ceremony: September 2015

  9. Emmy Nomination: Outstanding Informational Programming

    StarTalk, NatGeo Channel, Award Ceremony: September 2015

  10. Emmy Nomination: Outstanding Documentary

    Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey, FOX, Award Ceremony: August 2014

  11. Critics Choice Award: Best Host of Reality Series

    Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey, FOX, June 19, 2014

  12. Most Influential Nerds of 2014

    GQ Magazine, Condé Nast, New York: July 24, 2014

  13. Time Top Tweeters 2012: 140 Best Twitter Feeds

    Voted by the Editors of Time Magazine (March 2012) picks the 140 Twitter feeds that are the best in the world

  14. Time Top Tweeters 2011: 140 best Twitter Feeds

    Voted by the Editors of Time Magazine (March 2011) picks the 140 Twitter feeds that are the best in the world

  15. Harvard 100: Most Influential Harvard Alumni

    02138 Magazine, Cambridge. Massachusetts: December 2, 2007

  16. NASA Exceptional Public Service Medal

    For service on NASA’s Advisory council. November 2007

  17. The Time 100

    Voted by the Editors of Time Magazine (May 4, 2007) as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

  18. Top Ten Space Imaginations at Work

    Space.com, 2006

  19. Writer-In-Residence

    Department of English, Yeshiva University, New York. Fall 2005

  20. NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal

    The highest honor awarded by NASA to a non-government civilian. September 22, 2004

  21. The Tech 100

    Voted by editors of Crain’s Magazine (May 21, 2001) to be among the 100 most influential technology leaders in New York.

  22. Medal of Excellence

    Columbia University, New York City, Commencement: May 16, 2001

  23. Asteroid: “13123 Tyson”

    Renamed from Asteroid 1994KA on November 19, 2000 by the International Astronomical Union. Discovered by Carolyn Shoemaker and David Levy. A main-belt asteroid peaking at Vmag = 16.9

  24. Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive

    In People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” issue November 13, 2000

  25. Crain’s Magazine “40 under 40”

    Voted by Craines’ editors in 1996 to be among the forty most influential New Yorkers under the age of forty.

Honorary Doctorates

  1. Doctor of Humane Letters

    Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

    Commencement: May 21, 2018

  2. Doctor of Science

    Baruch College, City College of New York, New York City

    Commencement: June 5, 2017

  3. Doctor of Science

    Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts

    Commencement: May 8, 2015

  4. Doctor of Science

    Mt. Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts

    Commencement: May 20, 2012

  5. Doctor of Science

    Western New England College, Springfield, Massachusetts

    Commencement: May 19, 2012

  6. Doctor of Science

    Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

    Commencement: May 22, 2011

  7. Doctor of Science

    University of Alabama, Huntsville, New York

    Commencement: December 3, 2010

  8. Doctor of Science

    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York

    Commencement: May 29, 2010

  9. Doctor of Science

    Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic, Connecticut

    Commencement: May 23, 2010

  10. Doctor of Science

    University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Commencement: May 19, 2008

  11. Doctor of Science

    Howard University, Washington, DC

    Commencement: May 10, 2008

  12. Doctor of Science

    Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts

    Commencement: June 3, 2007

  13. Doctor of Science

    Worcester Polytechnic Insitute, Worcester, Massachusetts

    Commencement: May 19, 2007

  14. Doctor of Science

    Pace University, New York City

    Convocation: April 23, 2006

  15. Doctor of Humane Letters

    City University of New York, College of Staten Island, New York City

    Commencement: June 3, 2004

  16. Doctor of Science

    Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts

    Commencement: June 14, 2003

  17. Doctor of Science

    Bloomfield College, Bloomfield, New Jersey

    Commencement: May 23, 2002

  18. Doctor of Science

    University of Richmond, Richmond, Virginia

    Commencement: May 13, 2001

  19. Doctor of Science

    Ramapo College, Mahway, New Jersey

    Commencement: May 22, 2000

  20. Doctor of Science

    Dominican College, Orangeburg, New York

    Commencement: May 21, 2000

  21. Doctor of Science

    York College, City University of New York, New York City

    Commencement: June 2, 1997

Grants Awarded

Award Proposal
$354,000 PI, The Sloan Foundation (2014: 12 months): In support of StarTalk Radio, enabling the show to expand in a commercially viable way to internet video and television.
$1,500,000 PI, National Science Foundation (2010: 36 months) Informal Science Education: StarTalk Radio Show. Using a comedic co-host and with weekly guests drawn from pop-culture, this broadcast (and Internet) radio talk show on science targets an audience that never thought to listen to science on the radio.
$200,000 PI, National Science Foundation (2009: 12 months) Informal Science Education, Small Grants for Exploratory Research: StarTalk Radio Show—Pilots. Thirteen radio talk show pilot programs broadcast live in DC and LA, experimenting with various guests and co-hosts for how best to bring the universe to listeners who would not otherwise think to listen to science on the radio.
$100,000 Co-I, NASA (2003: 24 months) Hubble Treasury Program: COSMOS 2-degree field, large scale structure of the universe at high redshift.
$2,800,000 Co-I, NASA (2001: 18 months) The Search for Life: Are We Alone?, The second space show to run in the newly rebuilt Hayden Planetarium.
$1,500,000 Co-PI, NASA (October 2000 – September 2003) New York City Space Science Research Alliance, creating a new space science degree in the City University of New York.
$840,000 Co-PI, National Science Foundation (October 1999 – September 2002) Visualization of High Dimensional Data in Comparative Morphology
$450,000 PI, National Science Foundation (May 1999 – September 2003) Partner in the Grand Challenge Cosmology Consortium Administered by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, Urbana, Illinois.
$2,000,000 Co-I & Project Director, NASA (September 1997 – March 1999) Digital Galaxy Project—Part of the $8 million launch of the National Center for Science Literacy Education and Technology at the American Museum of Natural History
$23,000 PI, Science Foundation (July 1993 – December 1994) to study the Galactic Bulge: Structure and Dynamics and Dwarf Galaxies: Star Formation, Supernovae, and Detection
$5,000 ARCS Foundation, New York City (January 1989 – December 1990) Intergalactic Supernovae

Referee / Reviewer

Journals

  • Nature
  • Astronomical Journal
  • Astrophysical Journal
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Observing Proposals

Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory

Major Grants

  • National Science Foundation
  • NASA

Book Publishers

  • Anchor Books
  • Cambridge University Press
  • Columbia University Press
  • DK Publishers
  • Free Press
  • Houghton-Mifflin
  • National Academy Press
  • Oxford University Press
  • Princeton University Press
  • Visible Ink Press
  • Walker Press
  • W. W. Norton

Observing Time Allocations

Telescope Location Date
Hubble Space Telescope (COSMOS Collab) 650 Orbits 2003, 2004
Palomar Observatory California 1994, 1995
Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory Chile 1988-1993
Millimeter Radio Astronomy Institute Spain 1993
Apache Point Observatory New Mexico 1992
Very Large Array New Mexico 1990
Kitt Peak National Observatory Arizona 1988, 1989

Supervised Research

Year Student and project
2001 Senior Thesis: Adam Gittes (Princeton)
“Variable Star Light Curves From Massive Data sets: Classifications and Interpretations”
1995 Junior Thesis: Ronald Kim (Princeton)
“The Binary Star frequency at High Galactic Latitude”
1994 Senior Thesis: Konata Stinson (Princeton)
“The Radial Dependence of Supernova Rates in Galaxies”
1993 Junior Thesis: Peter Bloser (Princeton)
“An Estimate of the Supernova Rate in Abell Clusters”
1992 Summer Project: Roy Gal (Columbia)
“An Exposure Guide for Taking Twilight Flatfields with Large Format CCDs” (See the published paper.)

Courses Taught

Video

Classroom

Semester Title Enroll­ment Student profile

Yeshiva University, New York

“Writer-In-Residence” for the Department of English

Fall 2005 Writing Science and Nature Seminar 12* For English majors and others

Princeton University

Visiting Lecturer with rank of Associate Professor

Spring 2003 The Universe 250* For non-science majors
Spring 2002 The Universe 250* For non-science majors
Spring 2001 The Universe 200* For non-science majors
Spring 2000 The Universe 125* For non-science majors
Spring 1999 The Universe 125* For non-science majors
Spring 1997 Modern Astro­physics 45 For science majors

Princeton University

Lecturer

Spring 1996 Cosmic Discovery: How we have come to learn what we know about the universe 14* Fresh­man Seminar
Spring 1995 The Universe 80 For non-science majors

Hayden Planetarium

Director

Spring 2003 Intro­duction to Space Science: Frontiers of Matter, Motion and Energy 100* Satis­fying part of a NASA-funded Space Science curric­ulum for the City Univer­sity of New York
Fall 2002 Intro­duction to Space Science: Matter, Motion, and Energy 100* Satis­fying part of a NASA-funded Space Science curric­ulum for the City Univer­sity of New York
Spring 2002 Intro­duction to Space Science: Universe 80* Satis­fying part of a NASA-funded Space Science curric­ulum for the City Univer­sity of New York
Winter 2001 Intro­duction to Space Science: Galaxies 80* Satis­fying part of a NASA-funded Space Science curric­ulum for the City Univer­sity of New York
Fall 2001 Intro­duction to Space Science: Stars 80* Satis­fying part of a NASA-funded Space Science curric­ulum for the City Univer­sity of New York
Spring 2001 Astro­physics Round Table 40 Rotating topics on the frontier
Fall 2000 The Making of the Rose Center for Earth and Space 40

Columbia University

Graduate student

1988–1991 Assorted guest lectures 50 to 150

University of Maryland

Lecturer

Spring 1987 Intro­ductory Astronomy 180
Fall 1987 Intro­ductory Astronomy 300

University of Texas

Graduate student

1980–1985 Assorted guest lectures 30 to 300

* = limited enrollment

Invited Colloquia

Date Department Location
05/2008 Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Cambridge, MA
03/2005 National Science Foundation Arlington, VA
01/2005 MIT Lincoln Labs Lexington, MA
01/2005 University of Washington Seattle, WA
12/2004 Duke University Durham, NC
11/2004 NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA
05/2004 Stanford Linear Accelerator Center Stanford, CA
07/2003 Brookhaven Laboratories Long Island, NY
12/2002 Princeton University. Joint Sponsors: Woodrow Wilson School, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Astrophysics Princeton, NJ
10/2002 Pappalardo Lecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Physics Cambridge, MA
03/2002 Penn State, Department of Astrophysics State College, PA
11/2000 Caltech, Department of Astronomy Pasadena, CA
09/2000 Space Telescope Science Institute Baltimore, MD
04/2000 University of Toronto & CITA Toronto, Canada
04/2000 Rutgers University, Department of Astronomy New Brunswick, NJ
01/1998 American Museum of Natural History, Dept. of Earth & Planetary Sciences New York City
12/1997 Swarthmore College, Department of Physics & Astronomy Swarth­more, PA
04/1996 Augsburg College, Department of Physics Minnea­polis, MN
05/1995 New York Academy of Sciences New York
02/1994 Lehigh University, Department of Physics Bethlehem, PA
12/1993 University of California, Department of Astronomy Santa Cruz, CA
10/1993 Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratories Princeton, NJ
10/1993 Ohio Sate University, Department of Astronomy Columbus, OH
06/1993 University of Washington, Department of Astronomy Seattle, WA
04/1993 University of Maryland, Department of Astronomy College Park, MD
03/1993 Rutgers University, Department of Astronomy New Brunswick, NJ
10/1992 University of Virginia, Department of Astronomy Charlottes­ville, VA
10/1992 National Radio Astronomy Observatory Charlottes­ville, VA
09/1992 University of Massachusetts, Department of Geology Amherst, MA
03/1992 York College, Department of Natural Sciences Queens, New York
05/1991 Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory La Serena, Chile
09/1990 Osservatorio Astronomico di Capadimonte. Funded by: Academia Nazionale di Science Lettere e Arti. Naples, Italy
09/1988 Yale University, Dept. of Astronomy New Haven, CT
10/1987 University of Missouri, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy St. Louis, MO
12/1986 University of Maryland, Astronomy Program College Park, MD

Board Service

  • The Common Good

    Honorary Advisory Board

    New York, NY

    April 2021 – current

    A not-for-profit, non-partisan organization of professionals with an interest in public policy and politics, encouraging civil dialogue and good government.

  • Board of Directors, Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF)

    New York City

    February 2006 – current

    Elected to the Board HEAF, an organization that helps inner city children from disadvantaged backgrounds develop the attitudes, skills and values that will enable them to lead satisfying and productive lives in mainstream American life.

  • Defense Innovation Board

    Department of Defense, Pentagon

    Washington, DC

    August 2016 – February 2021

    Appointed by the US Secretary of Defense as an advisor to the DoD’s future of sci-tech innovation.

  • Board of Directors, The Planetary Society

    Pasadena, California

    May 1997 – December 2015

  • Astro2010: The Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey

    National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences

    Washington, DC

    November 2008 – September 2010

    Member of the Survey Committee and of the Subcommittee on State of the Profession.

  • National Academy of Sciences Committee on Evolution

    Washington, DC

    December 2005 – December 2006

    Committee to update the NSF’s official statement denouncing the teaching of Creationism and Intelligent Design as science in the school systems.

  • NASA Advisory Council

    Washington, DC

    December 2005 – November 2008

    Appointed by the NASA Administrator to serve on its Advisory Council, to help to guide NASA’s scientific, technological, and budgetary steps forward in space.

  • White House Commission

    Washington, DC

    February 2004 – June 2004

    Appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on a nine-member Commission on the Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy. To establish an executable plan that enables the White House’s vision for America’s future in space.

  • Committee for the Presidential Medal of Science

    Washington, DC

    January 2003 – December 2005

    Appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on its 12-member Selection Committee.

  • Board of Directors, Space Foundation

    Colorado Springs

    January 2007 – Current: Honorary

    January 2003 – December 2006: Director

    The Space Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that vigorously supports civil, commercial, and national security space endeavors along with educational excellence.

  • White House Commission

    Washington, DC

    September 2001 – November 2002

    Appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on the 12-member Commission on the Future of the United States Aerospace Industry. To study the health of the United States aerospace industry and how it affects national security, the aviation economy, and our future in space.

  • Board of Directors, Phipps Houses, Inc.

    New York City

    November 2000 – October 2003

    A not-for-profit organization that promotes and provides housing to the indigent of the inner city.

  • Math & Physical Sciences Directorate Advisory Committee

    National Science Foundation

    Washington, DC

    November 2000 – October 2003

  • Decadal Survey in Astronomy & Astrophysics Subcommittee on Education and Public Policy

    National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences

    Washington, DC

    January 1999 – December 2000

    Appointed to the Subcommittee on Education and Public Policy.

  • Board of Directors, American Astronomical Society

    Washington, DC

    June 1998 – June 2001

    Elected by the membership to the Board of Directors (the “Council”) of the AAS (Washington, DC).

  • NASA’s Space Science Advisory Committee

    Washington, DC

    May 1997 – April 1998

  • Astronomy Education Board, American Astronomical Society

    Washington, DC

    June 1997 – June 2002

  • Board of Directors, Amateur Astronomers Association

    New York City

    March 1997 – June 2003

  • Board of Directors, Astronauts Memorial Foundation

    Kennedy Space Center, Florida

    November 1993 – October 1998

Consulting

  1. Chess in the Schools

    New York City

    Fall 1998 – Spring 2003

    Technical Advisor to a program that brings chess to inner city schools as a curriculum supplement to boost grades and attendance.

  2. Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal

    Buffalo, New York

    Spring 1995 – ongoing

  3. Science in the City, AMNH

    New York City

    Spring 1991 – Spring 1993

    Science Instructor for this program that serves inner city children of homeless single parents. Conducted by the Department of Education of the American Museum of Natural History.

  4. The New York Times

    New York City

    Spring 1989 – Fall 1999

    “Science Times” Questions and Answers

Selected Profiles

  1. New York Times Magazine

    Neil deGrasse Tyson Thinks Science Can Reign Supreme Again

    By David Marchese

    April 17, 2021

  2. The Washington Post

    Star Talker: Neil deGrasse Tyson on Fame, Education, and Tweets

    By Karen Heller

    February 24, 2015

  3. The National Review magazine

    Smarter Than Thou: Neil deGrasse Tyson and America’s Nerd Problem

    By Charles C. W. Cooke

    July 21, 2014, Cover Story

  4. The New Yorker magazine

    Star Man

    By Rebecca Meade

    February 2014, Anniversary Issue

  5. Parade magazine

    Master of the Universe

    By Lynn Sherr

    January 12, 2014, Cover Story

  6. Columbia Journalism Review

    Another round of Cosmos

    January/February 2013

  7. Sky magazine — Delta Airlines

    “Let’s Get Astrophysical”

    January 2013, pp. 69 & 71 (New York)

  8. Playboy magazine

    “King of the Cosmos”

    By Carl Zimmer

    Jan/Feb 2012, pp. 152 (New York)

  9. Columbia University magazine

    Musings of the Spheres

    Summer 2010 pp. 12-19, Cover story

    Life as a public scientist and educator.

  10. The World of Fine Wine magazine

    Spring 2005, Issue 9, pp. 48–52, Quarto Group (London)

    Profile and interview on wines of the world, including playful speculations about the future of wine in space and on other planets.

  11. Open the Unusual Door

    “Stargazer,” (Excerpt from the memoir, The Sky Is Not the Limit), p. 196.

    Edited by Barbara Summers, 2005, Houghton-Mifflin (Boston)

  12. Kids Who Think Outside the Box

    “Reach For Your Own Star,” p. 65.

    Edited by Stephanie Lerner, 2005, Amacom Books (New York)

  13. The Futurist

    “Visionaries: Changing the Future One Idea At A Time,” p. 68.

    November/December 2004

  14. Highlights for Children

    “Looking Up,” p. 25

    August 2004

  15. Columbia University magazine

    Columbia’s New Yorkers,” p. 42.

    Spring 2004

  16. The New York Times

    Stars in His Eyes Over a Pen

    March 9, 2003

    A celebration of my fondness for fountain pens.

  17. A Perfect World: Words and Paintings from over 50 of America’s Most Powerful People

    Edited by Debra Trione, 2002, Andrews McMeel Publishers (Kansas City), p. 163.

  18. Arrive Magazine

    July/August 2001, Amtrak, p. 14.

  19. People Magazine

    Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive,” p. 92.

    November 13, 2000

  20. Ebony Magazine

    August 2000, p. 58.

  21. Wine Spectator Magazine

    Star Collector

    May 31, 2000, p. 19.

  22. People Magazine

    February 28, 2000, p. 77.

  23. Scientific American

    February 2000, p. 28.

  24. New York Times

    January 1, 2000, p. B2.

  25. New York Times

    “An Educator Shines At the Planetarium”

    February 13, 2000

  26. Strong Men Keep Coming: The Book of African American Men

    By Tonya Bolden, Herb Boyd, 1999, J. Wiley & Sons (New York), p. 100.

  27. Our Common Ground

    Bruce Caines, 1994, Crown Publishers (New York), p. 36