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Must watch: Neil deGrasse Tyson Discusses the Link Between Space and Culture

If you've been on the internet at any point in the last five years, there's a good chance you've heard Neil deGrasse Tyson talk about the far-reaching scientific and technological benefits of space exploration. Now's your chance to hear him discuss its cultural implications.


Last week, Tyson delivered this keynote address at the 28th National Space Symposium. It's over an hour long if you include his 15-minute intro and the Q&A session towards the end, but it's definitely worth the watch — especially if you're already familiar with Tyson's tendency to link America's space-faring ambitions to its economic, scientific and technological ones.

Here, Tyson takes a slightly different angle in order to examine space exploration's spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and creative consequences, or, as he puts it, "space as culture." The result is a refreshing, relatable, and inspirational take on a topic well worth your time and consideration.


NdGT die-hards will enjoy the entire speech. Those interested in the cultural discussion should watch from around the 14-minute mark. [Open Culture via It's Okay to be Smart]

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Tyson is fantastic I love his attitude and enthusiasm. He is the person that you want on every television show advocating space exploration and this is a great speech as well. One of his best.

But! (ouch) at the risk of irritating people, I'm going to say that I think he's drunk himself sober.

He looks foxed when he takes the mic and then delivers inappropriate aggression throughout, not just where it's required for effect. I've never seen such an aggressive delivery. It makes me feel uncomfortable and not in a progressive way as one might intend to evoke such a feeling. Several times in the speech he verbally flits across ideals and convictions within a single incomplete sentence. That's classic imbued behaviour. (I should know, I've been there often enough.) Just how good was the hospitality the night before? Because his body language looks like he's had an interrupted snooze whilst his alcohol blood level is still on the dance floor.

Whether I'm right or wrong, it's still one of the best hours of positive thinking I've seen in a long while. The word needs more people like him and that was a great, great oration.