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P.O. Box 5000
Upton, NY 11973-5000
phone 631 344-2345
fax 631 344-3368
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managed for the U.S. Department of Energy
by Brookhaven Science Associates, a company
founded by Stony Brook University and Battelle

News Release

Number: 03-54
Released: July 8, 2003
Contact: Diane Greenberg, 631 344-2347 or Mona S. Rowe, 631 344-5056

Hayden Planetarium Director Neil deGrasse Tyson to Give a Colloquium on ‘Destiny in Space?’ at Brookhaven Lab, July 15

UPTON, NY - Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist and Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, will give a colloquium called “Destiny in Space?” at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory on Tuesday, July 15, at 4 p.m. in Berkner Hall. The public is invited to this free program. All visitors to the Laboratory age 16 and over must bring a photo ID.

During the past century, flying became a viable commercial enterprise, jets were invented, the sound barrier was broken, and man voyaged to the moon. But humans have not left low-earth orbit since Apollo 17, thirty-one years ago. According to Tyson, because of the political complexities of funding major space projects across time and cultures, Americans may never leave low-earth orbit in spite of the perennial dreams of the space community. Tyson believes solutions to this problem exist, but require shifts in the government’s funding paradigms that are without precedent. In this colloquium, Tyson will review and critique the past, present, and future of American aerospace.

Tyson earned a B.A. in physics from Harvard University in 1980, an M.S. in astronomy from the University of Texas, Austin, in 1983, and a Ph.D. in astrophysics from Columbia University in 1991. He was a postdoctoral research associate at Princeton University’s Department of Astrophysics before joining the Hayden Planetarium as a staff scientist in 1994. Tyson became Director of the planetarium in 1996. He is also a research associate in the Department of Astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History.

Tyson recently served as one of twelve members of President Bush’s commission on the future of the U.S. aerospace industry. The final 2002 report contained recommendations for Congress and major government agencies that would promote a thriving future for transportation, space exploration, and national security.

In addition to writing for technical publications, Tyson is the author or co-author of numerous books, including a book of autobiographical reflections titled The Sky is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist (Doubleday, 2000). Since 1995, he has been a monthly essayist for the magazine Natural History.

Brookhaven Lab is located on William Floyd Parkway (County Road 46), one-and-a-half miles north of Exit 68 of the Long Island Expressway.