Zap2it: Why was it important to bring back Cosmos?
Neil deGrasse Tyson: It has been 34 years, and that is an entire generation. You look today at people who are not outright rejecting science, [but] they are sure tepid to it and that is a dangerous posture to take in the 21st century. One of the great values in “Cosmos” is it not only tells you about the science but conveys why it matters and your own understanding of why it should matter in the universe and ultimately we can become better shepherds of our culture and our Earth, and you can only do that if you understand the causes and effects of things that influence our culture.
Zap2it: You’re an astrophysicist who has, seemingly by accident, become a rock star on TV. What’s that been like?
Neil deGrasse Tyson: I am a scientist and an educator. I am not a TV [guy] but this whole production world is extraordinary to me. Every day was a novelty. We went to Iceland and Germany and France and all these places we go, and I am there in front of the camera and you don’t see the 50 other people making this work. I was so impressed with how collaborative that activity continues to be. … All of a sudden what might have been a static moment where you are just listening to me becomes this funky, realized, visually intellectualized moment.