With Dr Neil deGrasse Tyson (Day 1)

“HE IS COMING!”

It was my first reaction when I heard that Dr Neil deGrasse Tyson would be in Singapore on Thursday and Friday. What a dream come true!

In case you don’t know who he is, he is an astrophysicist (and the sexiest one, to boot), cosmologist and science communicator. He demoted Pluto to a dwarf planet (and still receiving hate emails from kids). He also appeared on popular shows such as The Daily Show, The Colbert Report and The Big Bang Theory. Oh yes, he wrestled too.

It was 1983. Still looking good today.

Together with National Geographic team, he was here to promote a TV documentary series COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey. Full of splendid visuals and charismatic narration by Neil, this show surely will be one of the “must-watch” documentaries in this decade. It is also the follow-up to the original series COSMOS: A Personal Voyage by Carl Sagan, arguably the most famous astrophysicist of all time.

The press conference and media preview was held at ArtScience Museum in the morning of Thursday.

DSC07887 DSC07897We watched the very first episode of the show – probably the first in Asia region. In particular the presentation of Cosmic calendar (compressing the whole history of universe into one year), the hand-drawn animations and witty comments from Neil were so much “edutaining”.

Many questions were asked by the media. He shared his view on the possibility of asteroid impact, the rise of social media in science communication and the astronomy education in schools. His answers proved to be a strong support to me – I always believe that the use of social media is crucial in communicating science to a wide audience, especially Gen-Y people.

The Funniest question of the day: “What would you be called if you were a professional wrestler? What would be your move?”

The answer?

Or more precisely, “Double Tidal Lock”. In astronomy it means the two bodies, such as Earth and the Moon, face each other with the same side all the time due to their gravity while moving around in their orbits.

The highlight of the day was the cocktail party at 1-Altitude – I was too happy and drunk to take any worthy photos except this one:

DSC07905Day 2 report coming soon!

 

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