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Neil deGrasse Tyson's Quotes

Neil deGrasse Tyson profile photo

Born: 1958-10-05
Profession: Scientist
Nation: American
Biography of Neil deGrasse Tyson

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Many academicians don't even own a television, much less watch one.

Tags: Less, Television, Watch

NASA has spin-offs, and it's a huge and very impressive list, including accurate and affordable LASIK eye surgery.

Tags: Eye, Impressive, List

No one is dumb who is curious. The people who don't ask questions remain clueless throughout their lives.

Tags: Ask, Lives, Questions

People generally don't recognize how long it takes to conceive, publish, and write a book.

Tags: Book, Takes, Write

People who are scientists today are scientists in spite of the system, typically, not because of it.

Tags: Spite, System, Today

Physics is the only profession in which prophecy is not only accurate but routine.

Tags: Physics, Profession, Routine

Pretty much every plant and animal alive today is the result of eons of natural cross-breeding.

Tags: Alive, Pretty, Today

Science is basically an inoculation against charlatans.

Tags: Against, Charlatans, Science

Somehow it's O.K. for people to chuckle about not being good at math. Yet if I said, 'I never learned to read,' they'd say I was an illiterate dolt.

Tags: Good, Learned, Said

Space enthusiasts are the most susceptible demographic to delusion that I have ever seen.

Tags: Delusion, Seen, Space

Space exploration is a force of nature unto itself that no other force in society can rival.

Tags: Nature, Society, Space

Space in general gave us GPS - that's not specifically NASA, but it's investments in space.

Tags: Gave, General, Space

Space only becomes ordinary when the frontier is no longer being breached.

Tags: Longer, Ordinary, Space

The chances that your tombstone will read 'Killed by Asteroid' are about the same as they'd be for 'Killed in Airplane Crash.'

Tags: Airplane, Chances, Read

The supermoon is a 16-inch pizza compared with a 15-inch pizza. It's a slightly bigger moon; I ain't using the adjective 'supermoon.'

Tags: Moon, Pizza, Using

The Venus transit is not a spectacle the way a total solar eclipse is a spectacle.

Tags: Eclipse, Solar, Total

The very nature of science is discoveries, and the best of those discoveries are the ones you don't expect.

Tags: Best, Nature, Science

There is no greater education than one that is self-driven.

Tags: Education, Greater

There's a lot of memorization that goes on in school. You memorize vocabulary words and all these sorts of things.

Tags: Goes, School, Words

We are part of this universe; we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts, is that the universe is in us.

Tags: Both, Facts, Universe

We didn't go to the moon to explore or because it was in our DNA or because we're Americans. We went because we were at war and we felt a threat.

Tags: Felt, Moon, War

We live in the kind of society where, in almost all cases, hard work is rewarded.

Tags: Hard, Society, Work

When everyone agrees to a single solution and a single plan, there's nothing more efficient in the world than an efficient democracy.

Tags: Democracy, Everyone, Single

All Plutophiles are based in America. If you go to other countries, they have much less of an attachment to either the existence or preservation of Pluto as a planet.

Tags: America, Either, Less

All tweets are tasty. Any tweet anybody writes is tasty. So, I try to have each tweet not simply be informative, but have some outlook, some perspective that you might not otherwise had.

Tags: Anybody, Might, Try

As a citizen, as a public scientist, I can tell you that Einstein essentially overturned a so strongly established paradigm of science, whereas Darwin didn't really overturn a science paradigm.

Tags: Public, Science, Tell
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As a scientist, I want to go to Mars and back to asteroids and the Moon because I'm a scientist. But I can tell you, I'm not so naive a scientist to think that the nation might not have geopolitical reasons for going into space.

Tags: Moon, Nation, Tell

Asteroids have us in our sight. The dinosaurs didn't have a space program, so they're not here to talk about this problem. We are, and we have the power to do something about it. I don't want to be the embarrassment of the galaxy, to have had the power to deflect an asteroid, and then not, and end up going extinct.

Tags: End, Power, Problem

Darwin's theory of evolution is a framework by which we understand the diversity of life on Earth. But there is no equation sitting there in Darwin's 'Origin of Species' that you apply and say, 'What is this species going to look like in 100 years or 1,000 years?' Biology isn't there yet with that kind of predictive precision.

Tags: Earth, Life, Understand

Do you realize that if you fall into a black hole, you will see the entire future of the Universe unfold in front of you in a matter of moments and you will emerge into another space-time created by the singularity of the black hole you just fell into?

Tags: Another, Black, Future

Even with all our technology and the inventions that make modern life so much easier than it once was, it takes just one big natural disaster to wipe all that away and remind us that, here on Earth, we're still at the mercy of nature.

Tags: Life, Nature, Technology

Everything we do, every thought we've ever had, is produced by the human brain. But exactly how it operates remains one of the biggest unsolved mysteries, and it seems the more we probe its secrets, the more surprises we find.

Tags: Brain, Human, Thought

For me, the most fascinating interface is Twitter. I have odd cosmic thoughts every day and I realized I could hold them to myself or share them with people who might be interested.

Tags: Interested, Might, Thoughts

For most of human civilization, the pace of innovation has been so slow that a generation might pass before a discovery would influence your life, culture or the conduct of nations.

Tags: Human, Life, Might

I can't tell you how many people say they were turned off from science because of a science teacher that completely sucked out all the inspiration and enthusiasm they had for the course.

Tags: Science, Teacher, Tell

I think that intelligence is such a narrow branch of the tree of life - this branch of primates we call humans. No other animal, by our definition, can be considered intelligent. So intelligence can't be all that important for survival, because there are so many animals that don't have what we call intelligence, and they're surviving just fine.

Tags: Call, Fine, Life

I try to show the public that chemistry, biology, physics, astrophysics is life. It is not some separate subject that you have to be pulled into a corner to be taught about.

Tags: Life, Show, Try

I want to know what dark matter and dark energy are comprised of. They remain a mystery, a complete mystery. No one is any closer to solving the problem than when these two things were discovered.

Tags: Dark, Energy, Problem

I'm not as famous as Stephen Hawking, but certainly in the U.S., I have a very high profile for a scientist. It is an awesome responsibility, one that I don't shoulder lightly.

Tags: Awesome, Famous, High

I'm on a crusade to get movie directors to get their science right because, more often than they believe, the science is more extraordinary than anything they can invent.

Tags: Movie, Often, Science

I've known from long ago that the universe was calling me. If you were one of those annoying adults that said, 'Oh, what are you gonna be when you grow up?' I would say, 'Astrophysicist.' And then they'd walk away real quickly.

Tags: Away, Real, Said

If you get asteroids about a kilometer in size, those are large enough and carry enough energy into our system to disrupt transportation, communication, the food chains, and that can be a really bad day on Earth.

Tags: Bad, Enough, Food

In all civilizations we've studied, all cultures that we know of across the Earth and across time have invested some kind of attempt to understanding where where, where they come from, and where they are going.

Tags: Attempt, Earth, Time

In the animal kingdom, one of the keys to survival is to outwit your enemies. And when you're surrounded by carnivores, one of the best strategies is to fade into the background and disappear.

Tags: Animal, Best, Survival

It's always interesting just to see how the human mind is relating to the natural universe, and what we try to make of it just so we can believe we understand what's going on.

Tags: Human, Mind, Understand

Kids should be allowed to break stuff more often. That's a consequence of exploration. Exploration is what you do when you don't know what you're doing.

Tags: Kids, Often, Stuff

Let me tell you something about full moons: kids don't care about full moons. They'll play in a full moon, no worries at all. They only get scared of magic or werewolves from stupid adults and their stupid adult stories.

Tags: Care, Stupid, Tell

Mars once was wet and fertile. It's now bone dry. Something bad happened on Mars. I want to know what happened on Mars so that we may prevent it from happening here on Earth.

Tags: Bad, Here, May

Most of what Einstein said and did has no direct impact on what anybody reads in the Bible. Special relativity, his work in quantum mechanics, nobody even knows or cares. Where Einstein really affects the Bible is the fact that general relativity is the organizing principle for the Big Bang.

Tags: Said, Special, Work

No one wants to die, and no one wants to die poor. These are the two fundamental truths that transcend culture, they transcend politics, they transcend economic cycles.

Tags: Die, Politics, Poor

Once you have an innovation culture, even those who are not scientists or engineers - poets, actors, journalists - they, as communities, embrace the meaning of what it is to be scientifically literate. They embrace the concept of an innovation culture. They vote in ways that promote it. They don't fight science and they don't fight technology.

Tags: Fight, Science, Technology

One of the greatest features of science is that it doesn't matter where you were born, and it doesn't matter what the belief systems of your parents might have been: If you perform the same experiment that someone else did, at a different time and place, you'll get the same result.

Tags: Greatest, Science, Time

People credit me for making the universe interesting when in fact the universe is inherently interesting, and I'm merely revealing that fact. I don't think I'm anything special for this to happen.

Tags: Happen, Special, Universe

Pluto's orbit is so elongated that it crosses the orbit of another planet. Now that's... you've got no business doing that if you want to call yourself a planet. Come on, now! There's something especially transgressive about that.

Tags: Another, Business, Yourself

Private enterprise can never lead a space frontier. It's not possible because a space frontier is expensive, it has unknown risks and it has unquantified risks.

Tags: Lead, Possible, Space

The caricature of science is that we hold tight to the theories we have, and shun challenges to them. That's just not true. In fact, we hold our highest rewards for those scientists who can prove others wrong. And by the way, they are famous in their own lifetimes. We don't wait until they're dead.

Tags: Famous, Science, True

The history of exploration across nations and across time is not one where nations said, 'Let's explore because it's fun.' It was, 'Let's explore so that we can claim lands for our country, so that we can open up new trade routes; let's explore so we can become more powerful.'

Tags: Fun, History, Time

The methods and tools of science perennially breach barriers, granting me confidence that our epic march of insight into the operations of nature will continue without end.

Tags: End, Nature, Science

The universe is almost 14 billion years old, and, wow! Life had no problem starting here on Earth! I think it would be inexcusably egocentric of us to suggest that we're alone in the universe.

Tags: Alone, Life, Problem

The urge to miniaturize electronics did not exist before the space program. I mean our grandparents had radios that was furniture in the living room. Nobody at the time was saying, 'Gee, I want to carry that in my pocket.' Which is a non-thought.

Tags: Mean, Saying, Time

There are thousands of asteroids whose orbit in the Solar System crosses that of Earth. And we have a little acronym for them - NEOs: near Earth objects. And our biggest goal is to try to catalogue them, so we know in advance if one is going to put us at risk.

Tags: Goal, Put, Try

There is no science in this world like physics. Nothing comes close to the precision with which physics enables you to understand the world around you. It's the laws of physics that allow us to say exactly what time the sun is going to rise. What time the eclipse is going to begin. What time the eclipse is going to end.

Tags: End, Science, Time

There's something about witnessing something in the sky that makes people think they're seeing something unique or special. I don't really understand the psychology of it, to be honest.

Tags: Honest, Special, Understand

We didn't build the interstate system to connect New York to Los Angeles because the West Coast was a priority. No, we webbed the highways so people can go to multiple places and invent ways of doing things not thought of by the persons building the roads.

Tags: System, Thought, Ways

When Kennedy said, 'Let's go to the moon,' we didn't yet have a vehicle that wouldn't kill you on launch. He said we'll land a man on the moon in eight years and bring him back. That was an audacious goal to put forth in front of the American people.

Tags: Goal, Him, Put

When we see animals doing remarkable things, how do we know if we're simply seeing tricks or signs of real intelligence? Are talented animals just obeying commands, or do they have some kind of deeper understanding? One of the biggest challenges for animal researchers is to come up with tests that can distinguish between the two.

Tags: Between, Real, Simply

When you innovate, you create new industries that then boost your economy. And when you create new industries and that becomes part of your culture, your jobs can't go overseas because no one else has figured out how to do it yet.

Tags: Create, Culture, Else

Where there's water on Earth, you find life as we know it. So if you find water somewhere else, it becomes a remarkable draw to look closer to see if life of any kind is there, even if it's bacterial, which would be extraordinary for the field of biology.

Tags: Earth, Else, Life

You can't have people making decisions about the future of the world who are scientifically illiterate. That's a recipe for disaster. And I don't mean just whether a politician is scientifically literate, but people who vote politicians into office.

Tags: Decisions, Future, Mean

You have people who believe they are scientifically literate but, in fact, are not. And I don't mind if you're not scientifically literate, but just admit that to yourself, so that you'll know, and perhaps you can take a first step to try to eradicate that.

Tags: Mind, Try, Yourself

Passion is what gets you through the hardest times that might otherwise make strong men weak, or make you give up.

Tags: Men, Passion, Strong

The first colony on Mars is not going to be built by a private company. How are you going to make money? You're not.

Tags: Company, Money, Private

Typically, when you look for role models, you want someone who has your interests and came from the same background. Well, look how restricting that is. What people should do is take role models a la carte. If there's someone whose character you appreciated, you respect that trait.

Tags: Character, Respect, Someone

All of the full moons for the entire year are special in that they have particular names.

Tags: Full, Special, Year

All the traditional STEM fields, the science, technology, engineering, and math fields, are stoked when you dream big in an agency such as NASA.

Tags: Big, Science, Technology

'Boldly going where hundreds have gone before' does not make headlines.

Tags: Boldly, Gone, Headlines

Computers have proved to be formidable chess players. In fact, they've beaten our top human chess champions.

Tags: Computers, Fact, Human

Dreams about the future are always filled with gadgets.

Tags: Dreams, Future, Gadgets

For centuries, magicians have intuitively taken advantage of the inner workings of our brains.

Tags: Advantage, Brains, Taken

Humans aren't as good as we should be in our capacity to empathize with feelings and thoughts of others, be they humans or other animals on Earth.

Tags: Feelings, Good, Thoughts

I don't want people to say, 'Something is true because Tyson says it is true.' That's not critical thinking.

Tags: Says, Thinking, True

I get enormous satisfaction from knowing I'm doing something for society.

Tags: Enormous, Knowing, Society

I know of no time in human history where ignorance was better than knowledge.

Tags: History, Knowledge, Time

I lose sleep at night wondering whether we are intelligent enough to figure out the universe. I don't know.

Tags: Enough, Night, Sleep

I never got into 'Star Wars.' Maybe because they made no attempt to portray real physics. At all.

Tags: Physics, Real, Star

I was born the same week NASA was founded, so we're the same age and feel some of the same pains, joys, and frustrations.

Tags: Age, Born, Week

I'm fascinated by the deaths of stars and the havoc they wreak on their environments.

Tags: Fascinated, Havoc, Stars

If a scientist is not befuddled by what they're looking at, then they're not a research scientist.

Tags: Looking, Research, Scientist

If Mars formed life, then life on Earth could have been seeded by life on Mars, making every life form on Earth descended from Martians.

Tags: Earth, Life, Making

If the only time you think of me as a scientist is during Black History Month, then I must not be doing my job as a scientist.

Tags: History, Job, Time

If you want a nation to have space exploration ambitions, you've got to send humans.

Tags: Humans, Nation, Space

In any city with lots of skyscrapers, lots of skyline, the moon seems bigger than it is. It's called the moon illusion.

Tags: Illusion, Moon, Seems

It turns out our brain is sensitive, maybe too sensitive, to motion. It's a survival mechanism.

Tags: Brain, Maybe, Sensitive

It's part of our pop culture to give animals human personalities and talents.

Tags: Culture, Give, Human

Kids are born curious about the world. What adults primarily do in the presence of kids is unwittingly thwart the curiosity of children.

Tags: Born, Children, Kids
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