Jon Betz' photo of Neil deGrasse Tyson and Katy Perry.
Jon Betz' photo of Neil deGrasse Tyson and Katy Perry.

Katy Perry’s Cosmic Curiosity

Neil deGrasse Tyson and Katy Perry. Photo Credit: Jon Betz.

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About This Episode

On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson talks to one of the biggest stars in the world about her untapped cosmic curiosity – Katy Perry. Even though she used such terms as extraterrestrials, prisms, and more in her music, on this episode we focus on her curious mind and even hear about some of her science crushes. In-studio, Neil is joined by comic co-host Sasheer Zamata, former cast member of Saturday Night Live and who has some Star Trek origins in her name, and astrophysicist and StarTalk All-Stars host Charles Liu. Katy and Neil discuss Katy’s upbringing and how she was never really interested in math and science until later on in life. Together, they explore how math is the language of the universe and how math and music are forever intertwined. Charles and Neil ponder whether mathematics was invented or discovered. Katy and Neil also discuss her use of scientific terms in song titles. You’ll learn about Katy’s curiosity for knowledge, and Neil explains why being curious is a fundamental principle to human life. Sasheer leads us in a game of “What Don’t We Know” which includes topics like time, gravity, and SpongeBob SquarePants lingerie…  yes, SpongeBob lingerie. Katy then reveals that she has a ticket to fly on the Virgin Galactic commercial space flights and Charles explains what really happens if you vomit in zero gravity. Next, Neil and Katy discuss Katy’s ant farm, and her thoughts on extraterrestrials and the possibility of humans being an ant farm colony controlled and watched over by a higher species of life. Find out whether Katy would sing or talk to aliens if they contacted her, or if she would do neither. Katy and Neil also talk about our universe and the likelihood that we’re living in simulation. We answer fan-submitted Cosmic Queries about the starry sky, the gravity of gas giants, and Uranus, and Katy has a Cosmic Query of her own for Neil. You’ll discover more about the Fermi paradox and Charles gives us more insight into the cosmic perspective. All that, plus, we discuss the cross pollination of science and faith, and Neil gives his closing thoughts on the importance of staying curious in school and beyond.  

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: Katy Perry’s Cosmic Curiosity.

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