Adam's Antics

May 5, 2012


Filed under: General Antics — Adam Scott Wandt @ 1:28 pm


As far back as I can remember, my personal heroes have been scientists – physicists or astrophysicists to be exact. While most kids grow up admiring sports stars, politicians, civil rights activists, movie stars, or “dad,” I grew up reading about and admiring men like Einstein, Copernicus and Kepler. As an adult, I have read most of Stephen Hawking’s works. I am impressed by his ability to explain the complexities of space, time and the universe in simple terms that most people can understand.

I have speculated as to why these people are my heroes… Maybe it’s because I am related to famous astronomer Sir William Herschel, who discovered Uranus, Titania, Oberron, and Infrared Radiation… Maybe it’s because these men can answer questions for me that others cannot… Maybe it’s because I grew up glued to the TV, watching Star Trek: The Next Generation (Jean Luke Picard is absolutely my favorite fictional hero).

Today, I have a new hero. A man who is much closer to me, in both space and time, than Herschel, Einstein, Copernicus, Kepler or even Hawking could ever be. Actually, I used to live only a few blocks from his office.

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson is an American astrophysicist and the Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History. He is the host of NOVA’s scienceNOW on PBS and a frequent guest on popular shows such as The Daily Show. Dr. Tyson is becoming very active on Facebook and Twitter, has a wicked sense of humor, and often communicates with his fans.

Like Hawking, Dr. Tyson has the ability to explain complex concepts in simple language that is easy to understand. Better yet, he has an engaging personality and sense of humor that keeps me very interested in his activities. Best yet, he is a true New Yorker – born in Manhattan, raised in the Bronx, and educated at Columbia.

I have just started reading Dr. Tyson’s latest book, Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier (2012). I actually stopped reading the biography of Steve Jobs halfway through to start Space Chronicles, which most people who know me would find unbelievable.

Check out Dr. Tyson – watch some of his interviews, read some of his work, watch on November 3 when he hosts SNL… I bet you will be as fascinated with him as I am.

2 responses to “Heroes”

  1. jlsimons says:

    Hi Adam: I hope you won’t see this as a plug for his podcast show, StarTalk Radio, but rather, merely the act of letting you know it exists if you didn’t, since it didn’t get mentioned in the post above. On the show, Dr. Tyson and various comic co-hosts and guests ranging from scientists to actors and musicians tackle the important mission of making science more accessible, relevant and present in the national discourse than it sometimes is these days. You can find the podcasts at In June, the video version of StarTalk will be premiering on The Nerdist Channel on YouTube. Full disclosure: Neil is a hero of mine as well, and I am lucky enough to work for StarTalk Radio. (In a weird coincidence, I too interrupted my read of the Jobs’ biography to read Space Chronicles.) No need to post this, I just wanted to let you know about us in case you didn’t.

  2. […] my blog “Heroes,” I openly confessed to being a Trekkie. I have seen every episode, of every season, of every […]

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