The world-renowned astrophysicist, “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” host, author and science communicator Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson will keynote the Wayne County Community College District Chancellor’s Banquet at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 30, at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center. All proceeds from the event will benefit the WCCCD scholarship fund, which awards scholarships to students who otherwise would be unable to attend college. Tickets are $150 and available on a first come, first served basis.
Tyson, the first Frederick P. Rose director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, has become one of the best-recognized scientists in the nation, and a passionate advocate for science education. In addition to hosting “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” and the PBS-NOVA four-part mini-series “Origins,” Tyson also has authored 10 books and contributed countless essays and articles to academic and popular science journals and magazines.
“We are thrilled to host Dr. Tyson at our annual Chancellor’s Banquet,” said WCCCD Chancellor Dr. Curtis L. Ivery. “Dr. Tyson has championed making science educating, exciting, accessible and engaging for everyone; while helping to advance policy that allows us to continue exploration and scientific progress as a nation and as a global community.
“We work every day to help provide better lives to our students through higher education, and Dr. Tyson’s achievements, enduring intellectual curiosity and excitement about sharing his knowledge with the world are profoundly inspiring examples of just where that learning can take you.”
Tyson was born and raised in New York City, where he was educated in public schools through his graduation from the Bronx High School of Science. He went on to earn his BA in Physics from Harvard University and his PhD in Astrophysics from Columbia University.
In 2001, Tyson was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on a 12-member commission to study the future of the U.S. aerospace industry and again in 2004 on a nine-member commission on the implementation of the U.S. Space Exploration Policy, dubbed the “Moon, Mars and Beyond” commission. He was appointed in 2006 by the head of NASA to serve on its prestigious advisory council.
For five seasons, beginning in the fall of 2006, Tyson was the on-camera host of PBS-NOVA’s popular spinoff program “NOVAScienceNOW,” which looked at the frontier of the science that shapes our understanding of our place in the universe.
Making science accessible, however, has been a longstanding passion. Tyson in 2009 assembled a stable of stand-up comedians to help bring to life the StarTalkRadio podcast. The podcast combines celebrity guests with informative, but playful banter to engage a broad range of audiences.
The recipient of 18 honorary doctorates and the NASA Distinguished Public Services Medal, the highest award given by NASA to a non-government citizen, Tyson is the fifth head of the Hayden Planetarium and the first occupant of its Frederick P. Rose Directorship. He is also a research associate of the Department of Astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History.
He lives in New York City with his wife and two children.