53 Quotes of Neil deGrasse Tyson About Astrophysics

” The Universe is under no obligation to make sense to you. “
” 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. So maybe part of our formal education should be training in empathy. Imagine how different the world would be if, in fact, that were ‘reading, writing, arithmetic, empathy.’ “
” No one is dumb who is curious. The people who don’t ask questions remain clueless throughout their lives. “
” 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. “
” There is no greater education than one that is self-driven. “
” 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. “
” 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. “
” Passion is what gets you through the hardest times that might otherwise make strong men weak, or make you give up. “
” If your ego starts out, ‘I am important, I am big, I am special,’ you’re in for some disappointments when you look around at what we’ve discovered about the universe. No, you’re not big. No, you’re not. You’re small in time and in space. And you have this frail vessel called the human body that’s limited on Earth. “
” Rational thoughts never drive people’s creativity the way emotions do. “
” Rational thoughts never drive people’s creativity the way emotions do. “
” Dreams about the future are always filled with gadgets. “
” 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. “
” The most creative people are motivated by the grandest of problems that are presented before them. “
” It may be that our cosmic curiosity‚Ķ is a genetically-encoded force that we illuminate when we look up and wonder. “
” Keep in mind that if you take a tour through a hospital and look at every machine with on and off switch that is brought into the service of diagnosing the human condition, that machine is based on principles of physics discovered by a physicist in a machine designed by an engineer. “
” When you put money directly to a problem, it makes a good headline. It makes a good campaign slogan. You get to claim that you’ve engaged in these activities within an election cycle. But certain investments take longer than an election cycle. “
” 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. “
” Space exploration is a force of nature unto itself that no other force in society can rival. “
” The only way you can invent tomorrow is if you break out of the enclosure that the school system has provided for you by the exams written by people who are trained in another generation. “
” To make any future that we dreamt up real requires creative scientists, engineers, and technologists to make it happen. If people are not within your midst who dream about tomorrow – with the capacity to bring tomorrow into the present – then the country might as well just recede back into the cave because that’s where we’re headed. “
” Perhaps we’ve never been visited by aliens because they have looked upon Earth and decided there’s no sign of intelligent life. “
” I have a personal philosophy in life: If somebody else can do something that I’m doing, they should do it. And what I want to do is find things that would represent a unique contribution to the world – the contribution that only I, and my portfolio of talents, can make happen. Those are my priorities in life. “
” Any time scientists disagree, it’s because we have insufficient data. Then we can agree on what kind of data to get; we get the data; and the data solves the problem. Either I’m right, or you’re right, or we’re both wrong. And we move on. That kind of conflict resolution does not exist in politics or religion. “
” Those who see the cosmic perspective as a depressing outlook, they really need to reassess how they think about the world. Because when I look up in the universe, I know I’m small but I’m also big. I’m big because I’m connected to the universe, and the universe is connected to me. “
” I think the greatest of people that have ever been in society, they were never versions of someone else. They were themselves. “
” I claim that space is part of our culture. You’ve heard complaints that nobody knows the names of the astronauts, that nobody gets excited about launches, that nobody cares anymore except people in the industry. I don’t believe that for a minute. “
” The problem is not scientifically illiterate kids; it is scientifically illiterate adults. Kids are born curious about the natural world. They are always turning over rocks, jumping with two feet into mud puddles and playing with the tablecloth and fine china. “
” 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. “
” 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. “
” Not enough books focus on how a culture responds to radically new ideas or discovery. Especially in the biography genre, they tend to focus on all the sordid details in the life of the person who made the discovery. I find this path to be voyeuristic but not enlightening. “
” I’m often asked – and occasionally in an accusatory way – ‘Are you atheist?’ And it’s like, ‘You know, the only ‘ist’ I am is a scientist, all right?’ I don’t associate with movements. I’m not an ‘ism.’ I just – I think for myself. “
” 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. “
” Science literacy is the artery through which the solutions of tomorrow’s problems flow. “
” Physics is the only profession in which prophecy is not only accurate but routine. “
” I know of no time in human history where ignorance was better than knowledge. “
” I said that if an alien came to visit, I’d be embarrassed to tell them that we fight wars to pull fossil fuels out of the ground to run our transportation. They’d be like, ‘What?’ “
” Everyone should have their mind blown once a day. “
” Half of my library are old books because I like seeing how people thought about their world at their time. So that I don’t get bigheaded about something we just discovered and I can be humble about where we might go next. Because you can see who got stuff right and most of the people who got stuff wrong. “
” The theory of evolution, like the theory of gravity, is a scientific fact. “
” Ever since the Industrial Revolution, investments in science and technology have proved to be reliable engines of economic growth. If homegrown interest in those fields is not regenerated soon, the comfortable lifestyle to which Americans have become accustomed will draw to a rapid close. “
” 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. “
” 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. “
” 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. “
” The very nature of science is discoveries, and the best of those discoveries are the ones you don’t expect. “
” 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. “
” I don’t want people to say, ‘Something is true because Tyson says it is true.’ That’s not critical thinking. “
” The universe is hilarious! Like, Venus is 900 degrees. I could tell you it melts lead. But that’s not as fun as saying, ‘You can cook a pizza on the windowsill in nine seconds.’ And next time my fans eat pizza, they’re thinking of Venus! “
” Carl Sagan spoke fluently between biology and geology and astrophysics and physics. If you move fluently across those boundaries, you realize that science is everywhere; science is not something you can step around or sweep under the rug. “
” In science, if you don’t do it, somebody else will. Whereas in art, if Beethoven didn’t compose the ‘Ninth Symphony,’ no one else before or after is going to compose the ‘Ninth Symphony’ that he composed; no one else is going to paint ‘Starry Night’ by van Gogh. “
” 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. “
” If you want a nation to have space exploration ambitions, you’ve got to send humans. “
” What you need, above all else, is a love for your subject, whatever it is. You’ve got to be so deeply in love with your subject that when curve balls are thrown, when hurdles are put in place, you’ve got the energy to overcome them. “