Science Tuesday: Explore the Universe with Neil deGrasse Tyson

By Chris Lisinski, Staff Writer
@chrislisinski

Neil deGrasse Tyson wants you to join him on an adventure through time and space. Strange as that may sound, you should accept.

He is not an astronaut himself, nor is he extending a creepy, Wonka-esque invitation; no, Tyson wants to show you all about the world around you in the form of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.

You absolutely, positively should accept his invitation, because the show will instill you with the kind of wonder many of us have not felt since fifth-grade field trips to the planetarium.

Curiosity and intrigue are key characteristics of our status as human beings, and they have brought us every major accomplishment from irrigation to penicillin to leaving footprints on the moon.

It is through this desire to learn more that we expand and refine ourselves as a civilization.

At a time when science, technology, engineering and mathematics jobs are so crucial (and perhaps even more available than other fields), “Cosmos” plays the important role of making us care about science in our everyday lives. It validates wondering about the universe as a valid use of free time, not just something for nerds with extra-thick glasses.

The show matters, and it is a bit surprising to see it air first on FOX’s main channel itself rather than exclusively on National Geographic. Hopefully, none of the scientific content will be watered down (and hopefully evolution will not be skipped over), but given the decline of the Discovery Channel, we must be extremely thankful.

Students may have missed the first two episodes while on vacation, but fret not! You can watch it online for free and legally! FOX has taken the extra step of making it available for the next month-and-a-half or so on the show’s website.

And it’s an absolutely beautiful show. The original with Carl Sagan will always hold a dear place in my heart, but “Cosmos” is one of the few pieces of media that may be better as an HD reboot full of zany CGI. You will feel that you are genuinely transported across the universe thanks to the amazing visual effects.

It may have some shortcomings, especially when it occasionally skips over the key details of scientific theories, but regardless, there is one conclusion: you should watch “Cosmos.”

Check out the trailer below:

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