Since I already posted the new episode of Danger 5 yesterday, I thought I’d give you folks something even better today: it’s a video of Stephen Colbert (out of character) interviewing Neil Degrasse Tyson for 90 minutes (the interview itself starts around six minutes in).
(video and more after the jump)
Stephen Colbert is a funny guy. And so is Neil Degrasse Tyson, believe it or not. He’s sort of a hero of mine — I love the way he advances science in the public eye. He’s sort of the go-to guy for a quote when something big happens in science, specifically his field of astrophysics (of course, he’ll talk about all space stuff). He’s the head of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History (a really fun place).
In the interview, an out-of-character Stephen Colbert (which is a rarity) interviews Tyson, and they talk about pretty much everything. Why the universe exists (in ten words or less), whether or not science is a good thing, science literacy, life on Mars and more. And since both Colbert and Tyson are affable guys, they keep things grounded and easy to understand, while also making it funny. The interview itself is from back in 2010 at Montclair Kimberly Academy, but it was just put online. It was so popular, it crashed the Hayden Planetarium’s servers.
I know it’s a bit long (at 90 minutes), but if you have any passion for science, it’s definitely worth it. It’s also funny. I loved Tyson’s story about getting mad at James Cameron for inaccuracies in — not Avatar — but Titanic. It’s really fantastic stuff. Almost as good as his role on an episode of Stargate: Atlantis alongside fellow Planetary Society and public science-speaker Bill Nye.
I hope you all enjoy this as much as I did. I loved how, especially as the interview goes on, Tyson’s passion for everything he’s talking about just becomes more and more evident. I’d love to meet him one day. The video was definitely worth the time investment.