May 21, 2020 9:00 pm

Friday, Neil deGrasse Tyson Answers Cosmic Queries from Pro Athletes

Have you ever wondered if your favorite athlete is cosmically curious? Well, the answer is probably yes. And now, we have proof. On this episode of StarTalk Sports Edition, we’re flipping the script slightly from our regular Cosmic Queries format. Usually, we solicit questions from fans but for this episode we’ve solicited questions from world-class athletes.

Lindsey Vonn on the podium. Image Credit: U.S. Ski Team / CC BY (

Lindsey Vonn on the podium at the 2010 World Cup. Image Credit: U.S. Ski Team / CC BY (

We start with Nicole Heavirland, USA Women’s Rugby star. Before we get to her questions, you’ll get a little background from Gary on the soccer vs. rugby culture in the UK. Then, it’s on to Nicole’s question. Will we see interplanetary colonization within our lifetime? You’ll learn why Neil thinks colonization might be a little too far off, but visiting other planets could happen. We investigate which spots in our solar system might be the best to visit…and they might not be planets.

Professional skateboarder Joey Brezinski drops in to find out how we can maintain the positive climate action that we’ve seen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We ponder whether we’re at a watershed moment when it comes to climate change. Neil tells us why this current situation might help us build a better society for the future.

Up next is Lindsey Vonn, Olympic gold-medalist and one of the best alpine skiers ever. Lindsey asks Neil about the popularity and “impact” of astrology. You’ll learn some history of why astrology is so engrained in the zeitgeist of humanity and how it survived the transition from a pre-science era to our current scientific era.

Our final question comes from previous guest Cam F. Awesome, professional boxer. Cam wants to know how we can make science more engaging in schools. Is it the subject matter? The teachers? Neil shares why it’s about the relationship between teacher and subject. All that, plus, you’ll hear why science should be taught as a way of querying nature, not solely with a barrel of facts.

You can find Pro Athlete Cosmic Queries right here on our website, as well as on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn. If you’re a StarTalk+ Patron or an All-Access subscriber, you can watch or listen to this episode ad-free.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
– Ian Mullen


About the prints that flank Neil in this video:
“Black Swan” & “White Swan” limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. Please visit Inuit Gallery of Vancouver  for more information about this artist and her work.



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