One of the most amazing things about being at USC is the ability to see so many prominent scholars, professionals, and world leaders. In the past, USC’s campus has been graced by the presence of President Obama, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and countless other inspiring and worldly people.
This past Monday I had the pleasure of attending a lecture by Neil deGrasse Tyson, who is basically a celebrity astrophysicist. Pretty cool, right? He’s been on The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and The Today Show, to name a few appearances, as well as written a number of books.
I jumped at the chance to see him for free in Bovard Auditorium and was fortunate enough to get a couple of tickets before they completely sold out.
I was a little nervous going in that I wouldn’t be able to understand anything he was talking about since I am nowhere near being a scientist, but he was an amazingly engaging speaker, explaining any sort of complicated terms or jargon the average non-scientist wouldn’t be able to understand. Neil deGrasse Tyson was hilarious and informative, broaching subjects from life on Mars to the questionable integrity of the legal system, all the while keeping the talk light and entertaining.
After taking off his shoes and sending out a tweet saying, “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” at the beginning of the night, Neil deGrasse Tyson gave one of the most memorable lectures I’ve attended thus far at USC.
“We’re just gonna tour the universe and everything in it…Mars. That’s cool.”
“To say there is life on other planets and it looks like us – that’s a profound lack of imagination.”
“Pluto…*Neil pauses and makes a sad face*…Get Over It.”
“I teach people that eyewitness testimony means nothing.”
“In America….in ‘Murica.”
“The good thing about science is that it’s true — whether or not people believe it.”
“This particle hands mass to other particles. You can’t get more [awesome] than that.”
“Science keeps our hubris in check.”
“The universe doesn’t make anything in ones, maybe not even itself. Maybe there’s not even one multiverse.”
“If we were all entirely rational, we’d never have painted Starry Night… The person felt what they created.”
“Not only do we exist in the universe, the universe exists in us.”