“Geek chic – maybe it always should have been that,” declares “StarTalk” host Neil deGrasse Tyson as we discuss the rise of nerd culture and the popularity of his Nat Geo show via webcam (watch above). “To say ‘golden age’ implies that one day will no longer be the golden age. I’d like to think it has achieved a place in society that it has always deserved and will eternally retain.”
“StarTalk,” which blends science discussion with pop culture, was nominated last year for Best Informational Program. Tyson, an astrophysicist, also hosted “Cosmos” in 2014, earning a nomination for Best Documentary/Nonfiction Series. But, as he readily admits, his are not the only shows that have brought science to the forefront. “The number-one show on television in the sitcom genre is ‘The Big Bang Theory‘ and they have a PhD physicist as their daily adviser.” He also cites films including “The Martian,” “Interstellar” and “The Theory of Everything.” “Combine all that together and I don’t know if there’s any other way to say it: science is trending.”
He clarifies, “I think it’s trending in the younger population – 35 and younger, maybe less so in the older generation. But these are the folks who will lead the world in another 10 or 15 years, so I think this bodes well for the fostering of a scientifically literate civilization, which we’ll need for our own survival. It’s in the air right now, and I see no reason why it won’t just continue, without having to encourage people.”
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