Science goes late night
Philip Ellison 12 January, 2015 at 10:01
Neil deGrasse Tyson is getting his own late night talk show. And yes, it is going to be just as awesome as that sentence leads you to believe. The programme, entitled Star Talk and set to air on the National Geographic Channel, and will bring together various celebrities to talk about various ‘big ideas’ in sessions chaired by Tyson. It is an adaptation of his existing webseries of the same name, which was named as one of the ‘Top 10 Podcasts of 2014’ by iTunes.
“This is low risk for National Geographic because it exists as a thriving podcast,” the astrophysicist stated at the Winter TV Press Tour 2015. “It’s a mixture of comedy, science and pop culture. I’m the host, yet I’m the scientist! And my guests are hardly ever scientists. Our goal is to hew them from pop culture… It will be National Geographic’s very first talk show so we look forward to how this plays out.”
While he claims not to be courting controversy, Tyson has revealed that one of his inaugural guests will be the controversial and outspoken atheist writer Richard Dawkins, ensuring healthy ratings figures from the off.
Tyson is known for his boundless energy and infectious enthusiasm, qualities you don’t usually expect to find in a brilliant scientist, and which have undoubtedly played a part in his success in presenting science to a mainstream audience. He has previously hosted Cosmos, the science programme made popular by astronomer Carl Sagan. More recently, his keynote at Cannes Lions 2014, in which he “cracked a knowledge egg on everyone’s ass,” resulted in a rare standing ovation.
“Cosmos allowed us to share the awesome power of the universe with a global audience in ways that we never thought possible,” says Tyson. “To be able to spread wonder and excitement through Star Talk, which is a true passion project for me, is beyond exciting.”