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Neil Degrasse Tyson
Star Talk Radio

Excerpt From Star Talk Radio: Neil Degrasse Tyson - Season One: A Universe of Inspiration

We are happy to present this excerpt from Star Talk Radio season one with Neil Degrasse Tyson as he discusses how creativity is inspired by the universe and every type of artist there is.  It's not just about painters and sculpters.  Let's take a look:

Welcome back to StarTalk. I am your host, Neil Degrasse Tyson, joining me is my co-host Lynne Koplitz. Lynne, you’ve been gone for two weeks.

I know. Did you miss me?

Yes, I did. I hope you were making people laugh wherever you were.

I was in Schaumberg Illinois and I did make people laugh. I had a lot of fun there thank you.

Excellent. Well, welcome back to the show. You’re my co-host. Don’t go away again.

Thank you Neil. Yeah, I missed you too.

You know, in our talk today, we’re going to talk about the universe as it inspires the creativity of artists, artists throughout time, and artists of all kinds. Not only painters and sculptors alike.

That’s very interesting.

I’ve liked it because, as scientists, we hang out together and, and sometimes we’re not appreciated as much as we would like to be, for whatever reasons. And occasionally we see someone…, our handiwork reflected in the creativity of artists themselves. When we say to ourselves “maybe we’re becoming mainstream”. Maybe we’re creative and we’re not nerds. (laughter)

No. Well, no.

Let’s take credit for that. OK, I’ll take credit for it too.  So, actually, I saw enough of this happen, so a few years ago I wrote an essay for Natural History Magazine called “The Universe as the artist’s muse”.

Dude, do you have a family? Do you ever not write? You’re always writing. You’re like “I wrote a book about that”.

Well, because that’s what I do! OK?  You inspired the symphony I wrote.

So……You’re great Neil. I’m happy if I like get off the couch, but that’s great.

So, no, it was an essay, because I was impressed by how often I was being called by artists to get the latest image from the Hubble telescope, and they wanted to find out the latest understanding of the big bang or black holes or Mars, so they could paint a scene, something inspired by it.  I mean, even as a comic, you know, artists tend to look at where people, all artists, whether it’s writer, comedienne, the visual artists, you know, we tend to look at the whole world. We look at everything over, under, in and out.

I just don’t think science was in that portfolio until recently. Well, science is part of the world. It is definitely part of the world, in fact it shapes the world, and so I think science has come a long way, in terms of being felt by the general public.


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The Neil deGrasse Tyson StarTalk Radio Collection