March 9, 2017 8:31 pm

This Friday: Neil Tyson and Chuck Nice Discuss Science and Immigration with Fareed Zakaria

With the nation divided and tensions running high, StarTalk is following up on our host Neil deGrasse Tyson’s invitation, “Let’s Make America Smart Again.”

On this week’s special edition episode of our new Cosmic Queries series, aptly named, Let’s Make America Smart Again,” Neil deGrasse Tyson and Chuck Nice welcome one of our country’s leading foreign affairs journalists, CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, to discuss the impact of immigration on the development of science and technology in the United States.

In studio for "Let's Make America Smart Again" with Neil deGrasse Tyson, Chuck Nice and Fareed Zakaria. Photo Credit Ben Ratner.

As you probably know, Neil and Fareed have been longtime friends, with Neil showing up frequently as a guest on Fareed’s Sunday morning news show, Fareed Zakaria GPS. Throw in comic co-host Chuck Nice doing his thing, and this episode of StarTalk feels like a backyard hangout with some friends who just happen to be having an evidence-based, important discussion about subjects and ideas that help shape our world.

First, our panel dives into the history of American dominance in the sciences, the reason the U.S. began focusing on science in the first place, and the reasons why so many foreign nationals come to the U.S. for education and careers.

You’ll hear Neil discuss why people not only come to America to escape foreign persecution, but also because smart people want to go where other smart people are. You’ll also hear Fareed discuss how some countries are beginning to catch up to the United States and offer equal opportunities in science to encourage their best and brightest to stay right where they are.

When a fan asks why this episode doesn’t involve any physics or space discussion, our panel is quick to point out that no science has ever been done that has not had geopolitical consequences or been embedded in a political system.

Neil, Fareed, and Chuck then ponder what the next big science discovery might be, along with explaining the importance of government funding to science programs using the example of the US microchip industry from the early 2000s.

In tomorrow’s episode, you’ll also discover why the ability to question authority has always been at the heart of western scientific advancement, the advantages the U.S. may lose if we stop encouraging creativity, and what we all can do to stay scientifically literate in the modern-day political climate.

If you want to celebrate and support the importance of science and science literacy, then please join us tomorrow night for Let’s Make America Smart Again, with Fareed Zakaria at 7pm EST right here on our website, as well as on iTunes Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and TuneIn. And if you’re an All-Access subscriber, you can watch or listen to this episode ad-free at 7pm, too.

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