American Museum of Natural History

As support for the popular science talk show StarTalk hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson

  • Amount $354,000
  • City New York, NY
  • Investigator Neil Tyson
  • Year 2014
  • Program Public Understanding
  • Sub-program Radio

Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist and director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, is also creator and host of an innovative radio show called StarTalk, a program that uses comedy and celebrity star power to demystify science for the public. Tyson’s guests are a mix of distinguished scientists—Bill Nye, Brian Greene, Buzz Aldrin—and interesting nonscientists and celebrities such as Jon Stewart, Morgan Freeman, and GZA.   Increasingly the show has been videotaped and posted on YouTube and other video channels where it has attracted a sizeable audience and significant advertising.  This grant provides basic operating support for the continued production of StarTalk during a one-year contractual blackout imposed by Tyson’s decision to host the upcoming 13-part mini-series COSMOS, to air in primetime on FOX in the spring of 2014.  Contractually forbidden to appear on a “competing” video program, Tyson is seeking bridge funding to keep StarTalk funded until he can reappear on the program in 2015.  This grant provides these funds, ensuring that an innovative show devoted to advancing the public understanding of science can stay on the air.

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