By Danielle Wiener-Bronner and Abby Ohlheiser3 hours ago
Add your ideas, insights, theories to these!This week, 'Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey taught us about comets by offering a lesson on the men who, tangentially and directly, figured out what they are. The stars (so to speak) of the show are Isaac Newton, Edmond Halley (of Halley's comet), Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke. And, as always, the wonderful host, Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Why do we know the names of mass murderers, but not scientists?
Danielle: This episode opens with Neil deGrasse Tyson cradling a baby, and that pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the show. Essentially, as far as I can tell, this episode is arguing that scientists can be sexy (because what is sexier than Neil deGrasse Tyson talking astronomy while holding a baby?) and that we have the potential to be so, so much more productive than we tend to be. Tyson asks us why we know the names of mass murderers and not the names of scientists. Because we fill our minds with sensationalist, fearful information that is basically useless, is the implied -- and essentially correct -- answer. ...more