Neil deGrasse Tyson Remembers His First Meeting with Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan left a big void when he died in 1996. His elo­quence, his pas­sion for explain­ing sci­ence to a wider pub­lic, made him a major cul­tur­al fig­ure in late 20th cen­tu­ry Amer­i­ca. Now a new voice is emerg­ing. Neil deGrasse Tyson, like Sagan, is an astronomer and physi­cist with a remark­able gift for speak­ing about the beau­ty and impor­tance of sci­ence. Like Sagan, he hosts a PBS tele­vi­sion pro­gram (NOVA Sci­en­ceNOW) and appears fre­quent­ly on talk shows. The pass­ing of the torch will become obvi­ous next year, when Tyson hosts the sequel to Sagan’s ground-break­ing 1980 TV series, Cos­mos. Tyson’s con­nec­tion to Sagan actu­al­ly began at a very young age. In the video clip above, Tyson tells Ted Simons of the region­al PBS show Ari­zona Hori­zon the sto­ry of a remark­able act of gen­eros­i­ty by Sagan when Tyson was only a teenag­er. If it whets your appetite, be sure to watch the com­plete 25-minute inter­view below. And don’t miss our very pop­u­lar relat­ed post: Neil deGrasse Tyson Lists 8 (Free) Books Every Intel­li­gent Per­son Should Read.

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