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Thursday, June 1, 2023


PBS host, physicist to star at UH lecture

Renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, the man who demoted Pluto from its prior position of planetary power, will be hosted Wednesday as part of the 2011 Elizabeth D. Rockwell Lecture on Ethics and Leadership series .

The lecture will be held at the Cullen Performance Hall on Wednesday from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

UH alumna Elizabeth D. Rockwell created and funded the series as a way to bring distinguished speakers to the University to discuss issues regarding leadership and ethics.

This year’s speaker is the youngest director ever to head the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of National History and current host of the PBS series NOVA scienceNOW.

Tyson has a passion for sharing his knowledge of star formations, exploding stars, dwarf galaxies, and the structure of the Milky Way with inquiring minds. His contributions have earned him the honor of having an astroid named after him by the International Astronomical Union, the “1323 Tyson.”

Past speakers include Pulitzer-prize winner Thomas L. Friedman, founder and director of the Global Viral Forecasting Initiative Nathan Wolfe and then-director of the National Human Genome Research Institute Francis S. Collins.

Tyson authored six books in total, including his memoir, “The Sky is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist,” and New York Times bestseller, “Death By Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries,” and his highly controversial account of Pluto’s status as the ninth planet titled, “The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet”.

Tyson earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from Harvard, a Ph.D. in astrophysics from Columbia, and 12 other honorary doctorates.

He is the recipient of the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal and was appointed by former President George W. Bush to serve on two separate committees, one in 2001 and one in 2004, to research United States aerospace industries and space exploration policies.

But don’t be fooled by all his accolades, Tyson isn’t all brains and no brawn, he was also voted “Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive” by People Magazine in 2004.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

Interested individuals should bring their universal inquiries and an open mind.

Tyson is one of many distinguished guests invited to speak at the Rockwell Lecture series since its inception in 2004.

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