March 9, 2013 9:05 pm

This Sunday’s Podcast – An Educational Conversation with Alan Rickman

Neil deGrasse Tyson and Alan Rickman on StarTalk Radio.

Behind the Scenes: Neil deGrasse Tyson and Alan Rickman ready to go on the set of StarTalk Radio.

For an episode that’s filled with insights into an actor’s craft, I thought one of the more interesting aspects of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s interview with Alan Rickman (Part 1) had nothing to do with acting.

Neil often asks celebrity guests about the role science played in their lives. We’ve heard some interesting stories about being inspired by science from Morgan Freeman and Whoopi Goldberg and GZA. But not in Alan Rickman’s case. In fact, Alan told Neil that he got a 4 out of 100 on his last physics exam, when he was around 15 years old.

That led to a discussion of the quality of education, and the role teachers play in shaping young minds. Comic co-host Chuck Nice added that he too failed physics, even though he was great at other science subjects. And guest astrophysicist Charles Liu, a professor at CUNY, shared his belief that if his students don’t understand his classes, it’s not their fault, it’s his.

Alan volunteered an interesting, science-fictional approach to customize teaching to the unique needs of individuals (with a bit of science magic thrown in, too) which, after all, shouldn’t be surprising coming from an actor who has played a Professor of Potions at Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series, a pioneering heart surgeon in Something the Lord Made and a Shakespearean actor playing a Science Officer on Galaxy Quest’s starship, the NSEA Protector.

Just a note for anyone who already watched some of this interview on The Nerdist Channel: there’s more content in Part 1 and Part 2 than made it into the video, so I recommend you check the podcast out, too. (Stay tuned for Part 2 on March 24th.)

Part 1 of the interview will be available on our website and iTunes tomorrow night, Sunday, March 10th, at 7:00pm ET.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!

–Jeffrey Simons

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