quote by Neil deGrasse Tyson

The problem in society is not kids not knowing science. The problem is adults not knowing science. They outnumber kids 5 to 1, they wield power, they write legislation. When you have scientifically illiterate adults, you have undermined the very fabric of what makes a nation wealthy and strong.

— Neil deGrasse Tyson

Revealing Astrophysics quotations

I love the smell of the universe in the morning.

Mathematics is not something that you find lying around in your back yard.

It's produced by the human mind. Yet if we ask where mathematics works best, it is in areas like particle physics and astrophysics, areas of fundamental science that are very, very far removed from everyday affairs.

I dream of a world where the truth is what shapes people's politics, rather than politics shaping what people think is true.

Physicists are made of atoms. A physicist is an attempt by an atom to understand itself.


I have always believed that astrophysics should be the extrapolation of laboratory physics, that we must begin from the present universe and work our way backward to progressively more remote and uncertain epochs.

If the Sun exploded, we wouldn't know about it for 8 minutes and 20 seconds.

Light and gravity take that long to reach us. Then we would vaporize.

I try to show the public that chemistry, biology, physics, astrophysics is life.

It is not some separate subject that you have to be pulled into a corner to be taught about.

General relativity is the cornerstone of cosmology and astrophysics.

It has also provided the conceptual basis for string theory and other attempts to unify all the forces of nature in terms of geometrical structures.

Just to settle it once and for all: Which came first, the chicken or the egg? The egg, laid by a bird that was not a chicken.


Trying to save a hater is like trying to teach astrophysics to a wino!

Some people seek meaning in life through personal gain, through personal relationship, or through personal experiences. However, it seems to me that being blessed with the intellect to divine the ultimate secrets of nature gives meaning enough to life.

If we restructure things to see that the hero's journey is a degree in astrophysics rather than a journey to star in a reality show, that's a better world.

Many people feel small because they're small and the universe is big, but I feel big.

I will stress once again that we do not know the source from which the UFOs or the alien beings come whether or not, for example, they originate in the physical universe as modern astrophysics has described it). But they manifest in the physical world and bring about definable consequences in that domain.


At the fourth grade level, girls at the same percentages of boys say they're interested in careers in engineering or math or astrophysics, but by eighth grade that has dropped precipitously.

We are not at the end but at the beginning of a new physics.

But whatever we find, there will always be new horizons continually awaiting us.

What counts is not what sounds plausible, not what we would like to believe, not what one or two witnesses claim, but only what is supported by hard evidence rigorously and skeptically examined. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

I have no trouble publishing in Soviet astrophysical journals, but my work is unacceptable to the American astrophysical journals.

It turns out that the history of astrophysics is where we perfected time keeping.


It is only myth that attempts to say how the universe came to be, either four thousand or twenty billion years ago.

Scientists willing to risk their reputations on higher dimensions soon found themselves ridiculed by the scientific community. Higher-dimensional space became the last refuge for mystics, cranks, and charlatans.

The remarkable feature of physical laws is that they apply everywhere, whether or not you choose to believe in them. After the laws of physics, everything else is opinion.

I have no trouble publishing in Soviet astrophysical journals, but my work is unacceptable to the American astrophysical journals. [Referring to the trouble he had with the peer reviewers of Anglo-American astrophysical journals because his ideas often conflicted with the generally accepted or “standard"” theories.]

We in astrophysics we think of the universe all the time.

So to us, Earth is just another planet. From a distance, it's a speck. And I'm convinced that if everyone had a cosmic perspective you wouldn't have legions of armies waging war on other people because someone would say, "Stop, look at the universe."


At one point I wanted to work for NASA and be an astrophysicist, so I did physics, math, and chemistry before realizing I probably wasn't quite smart enough to do that. But I am still hugely interested in cosmology and astrophysics. That is my geeky subject area.

I've had young women come to me and say that before they watched 'Voyager' it didn't really occur to them that they could be successful in a higher position in the field of science; girls going to MIT, girls pursuing astrophysics with a view to a career in NASA.

Not only are we in the universe, the universe is in us.

I don't know of any deeper spiritual feeling than what that brings upon me.

I'm convinced that imagination is at the heart of everything we do - in art, science, even astrophysics and higher mathematics. Imagination leads us to ask, "What if?"

Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is one of 50 or 100 billion other galaxies in the universe. And with every step, every window that modern astrophysics has opened to our mind, the person who wants to feel like they're the center of everything ends up shrinking.


Carl Sagan spoke fluently between biology and geology and astrophysics and physics. If you move fluently across those boundaries, you realize that science is everywhere; science is not something you can step around or sweep under the rug.

Anyone who has wrestled knows that it's the hardest thing in the world to do.

Anyone who says something else is the hardest thing has never wrestled. That's what I have found. ... You don't wrestle because it's easy, you wrestle because it's hard. I don't do astrophysics because it's easy, I do it because it's hard. And I juxtapose the two in my mind, body, and soul all the time.

What is surprising is that almost all the trends that developed within the sciences, Aristotelianism and an extreme Platonism included, produced results, not only in special domains, but everywhere; there exist highly theoretical branches of biology and highly empirical parts of astrophysics. The world is a complex an many-sided thing.

In astrophysics, we care about how matter, motion and energy manifest in objects and phenomenon in the universe. Stars are born. They live out their lives. They die. Some of the ones that die explode. Our sun will not be one of those, but it will die. And it'll take Earth with us. So we make sure we have other destinations in mind when that happens. And I've got it on my calendar.

Hoyle's enduring insights into stars, nucleosynthesis, and the large-scale universe rank among the greatest achievements of 20th-century astrophysics. Moreover, his theories were unfailingly stimulating, even when they proved transient.

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