Science and Social Justice with David Crosby

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About This Episode

Neil deGrasse Tyson talks about science fiction, folk music and social justice with rock and roll legend David Crosby. It turns out that David is a major science geek, and has been ever since a librarian suggested the chubby, unpopular teenager might enjoy reading Robert Heinlein. Neil and David discuss the role that science and the lunar landing played in his music and his life, and you’ll even discover why Crosby credits scientific advances with keeping him alive. The pair explore the likelihood of intelligent alien life, and David asks Neil his own Cosmic Query, about dark energy and dark matter, which Neil claims should be renamed dark gravity. In studio, Neil reality checks the Sixties with help of Chuck Nice and Dr. Thomas Sugrue, an NYU professor specializing in the history of an era where, as Neil puts it, “We were inventing tomorrow.” You’ll hear about the role music played in the social upheaval of the ‘60s, and why Crosby believes that kind of societal consciousness raising is still around and important (“It’s 12:00, Congress is bought, things are bad.”), though more fragmented than when everybody knew somebody affected by the draft and the Vietnam War. Plus, Bill Nye drops in from Greenwich Village to talk about the sexual revolution and loving the one you’re with.

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: Science and Social Justice with David Crosby.


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  • dwhatley

    How does Dark Matter and Dark Energy different from the older thoughts of the “ether”?

    • Simon Chui

      The lunimiferous aether was a hypothesis that subsequent experiments disproved – there was just no evidence for the aether. Dark matter is a hypothesis that multiple observations have confirmed to the extent that there is more gravity observed than our models of physics can account for – we don’t know what’s causing the gravity, but we know it’s there.

      • Taxil Necrobane

        Perhaps Dark Matter and Dark Energy IS the aether of our age. i am sure the old idea of aether was on an alright idea. It just was not going in the right direction to find it. More so if you had seen the movie “Thor 2: the dark world.”

      • Cinekpol

        Actually – they did have some “evidence” for aether – – it kind-of made sense at one point of time, only subsequent discoveries made the theory behind it more and more complicated until it all collapsed (though funny enough – there are still crazy people who think that aether is a “thing”).

  • Scott Silvers

    I disagree by way of empirical evidence….My wife has absolutely no interest in science and how things are put together, and she’d quite smart.

    • Kris Ring

      Smart by what measure? She just ‘is’?

  • Streetguru

    I didn’t hear much Social Justice Talk, or was that from talking about some of the stuff in the 60s where people were more actually oppressed in America at large at least.

    Wondering what ya’ll think about some of the recent happenings at colleges.

    • Taxil Necrobane

      ‘Safe spaces’, blaming ‘white privilege’ for other minorities for not making the cut, political correctness running amuck, kids not growing up into mature adults being coddled, and colleges taking in students into degrees that are not worth the paper the degree is printed on but saddling them 6 digit student dept they can’t pay back nor bankrupt out of.

      Yea, colleges are about the most screwed up I had ever seen these days.

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