Names You Know
Neil deGrasse Tyson
(Photo: Patrick Queen)
Neil deGrasse Tyson talks about his most influential books:
1. One, Two, Three Infinity
"The single most influential book in my life. Entertaining and enlightening--a science playground."
2. Dialogue of Two Chief World Systems
"Brilliant, creative, irreverent."
3. The World of Mathematics (Three Volumes)
"A compilation, I know, but influential nonetheless."
4. The Mismeasure of Man
"Simultaneously thorough, hard-hitting, and disturbing."
5. Cosmotheros (1698)
"A brilliant exploration of what life might be like on other planets in the solar system."
"Fiction, but curiously insightful and educational."
"Nothing else comes close. Period."
How you know Neil:
Neil deGrasse Tyson was born and raised in New York City and earned his BA in physics from Harvard and his PhD in astrophysics from Columbia.
In 2004, Tyson was appointed by President Bush to serve on a 9-member commission on the Implementation of the United States Space Exploration Policy. This group navigated a path by which the new space vision can become a successful part of the American agenda. In 2006, the head of NASA appointed Tyson to serve on its Advisory Council.
Among Tyson's nine books is "Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution," co-written with Donald Goldsmith. Origins is the companion book to the PBS-NOVA 4-part mini-series "Origins," in which Tyson serves as on-camera host. The program premiered on September 28 and 29, 2004. Beginning in the fall of 2006, Tyson appeared as the on-camera host of PBS-NOVA's spinoff program "NOVA ScienceNow,"
Tyson's latest book, "The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet," chronicles his experience at the center of the controversy over Pluto's planetary status. The PBS/NOVA documentary "The Pluto Files," based on the book, premiered in March 2010.
Tyson lives in New York City with his wife and two children.