Renowned Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson to Give Annual Hanify-Howland Lecture at Holy Cross

October 6th, 2014 by 

Neil deGrasse Tyson
Neil deGrasse Tyson Image by David Gamble

The 49th annual Hanify-Howland Memorial Lecture will be given by American astrophysicist and director of the Hayden Planetarium Neil deGrasse Tyson on Thursday, Nov. 13 at 8 p.m. in the ***Hart Recreation Center*** at the College of the Holy Cross. The lecture, which recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves in the realm of public service in honor of Edward Hanify, a member of the graduating class of 1904, and Weston Howland, will address challenges facing America today. The talk, titled “Science as a Way of Knowing,” is free and open to the public. Admittance to the event will be on a first-come, first-served basis.  Doors open at 7 p.m.

Tyson is the head of the world-renowned Hayden Planetarium in New York City and the first occupant of its Frederick P. Rose Directorship. In 2001, Tyson was appointed by President Bush to serve on a 12-member commission that studied the Future of the US Aerospace Industry. The final report was published in 2002 and contained recommendations (for Congress and for the major agencies of the government) that would promote a thriving future of transportation, space exploration, and national security.

In 2004, Tyson was once again appointed by President Bush to serve on a 9-member commission on the Implementation of the United States Space Exploration Policy, dubbed the Moon, Mars, and Beyond commission. This group navigated a path by which the new space vision can become a successful part of the American agenda. And in 2006, the head of NASA appointed Tyson to serve on its Advisory Council.

Among Tyson’s 10 books is his memoir “The Sky is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist” and “Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution,” co-written with Donald Goldsmith. “Origins” is the companion book to the PBS-NOVA 4-part mini-series “Origins,” in which Tyson served as on-camera host.

Two of Tyson’s recent books are “Death By Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries,” which was a New York Times bestseller, and “The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet, chronicling his experience at the center of the controversy over Pluto’s planetary status. The PBS/NOVA documentary “The Pluto Files,” based on the book, premiered in March 2010.

For five seasons, beginning in the fall of 2006, Tyson appeared as the on-camera host of PBS-NOVA’s spinoff program “NOVA ScienceNOW,” which is an accessible look at the frontier of all the science that shapes the understanding of our place in the universe.

Recently Tyson served as executive editor and on camera host and narrator for “Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey,” the 21st century reboot of Carl Sagan’s landmark television series. The show began in March 2014 and ran 13 episodes in Primetime on the FOX network, and appeared in 181 countries in 45 languages around the world on the National Geographic Channels. “Cosmos,” which is also available in DVD and BluRay , has been nominated for 13 Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Documentary.

Tyson earned his B.A. in physics from Harvard University and his Ph.D. in astrophysics from Columbia University.

Since 1965, the Hanify-Howland lecture series has brought to the Holy Cross campus a series of distinguished speakers who have exemplified in their own work the spirit of public service that the series was established to encourage. Past speakers include Retired Lieutenant General Brent Scowcroft, USAF; Hon. Clarence Thomas ’71, Supreme Court justice; Ruth Wedgwood, director of the Program in International Law and Organizations at Johns Hopkins University; investigative journalist Bob Woodward; Steven D. Levitt, co-author of the bestselling books “Freakonomics”(Harper, 2009) and “Superfreakonomics” (Harper, 2011); award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien; and most recently Governor Jon Huntsman.

In keeping with the traditional practice of the Hanify-Howland Series, Tyson will conduct a seminar on campus, which will allow students to interact with the speaker in an intimate and intellectually exciting environment.

News coverage

Associated Press, Oct. 6: Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson to deliver annual Holy Cross lecture
Telegram & Gazette, Oct. 7: Star speaker Neil deGrasse Tyson headed to Holy Cross

For additional information, please contact Cristal Steuer at 508-793-2419.

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