Carl Sagan Writes Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Published March 24, 2014
Updated May 17, 2017

Carl Sagan Writes Neil DeGrasse Tyson

This exchange is the stuff of scientific and cultural legend. When Neil DeGrasse Tyson accepted Sagan’s invitation and spent a Saturday touring Cornell University labs with the famed astrophysicist, his life was irrevocably changed.

A 17 year old when he met Sagan for the first time at Cornell University, Tyson later described the encounter in this way:

“At the end of the day, he drove me back to the bus station. The snow was falling harder. He wrote his phone number, his home phone number, on a scrap of paper. And he said, “If the bus can’t get through, call me. Spend the night at my home, with my family.”

I already knew I wanted to become a scientist, but that afternoon I learned from Carl the kind of person I wanted to become. He reached out to me and to countless others. Inspiring so many of us to study, teach, and do science. Science is a cooperative enterprise, spanning the generations…to this day I have this duty to respond to students who are inquiring about the universe as a career path to respond to them in the way that Carl Sagan had responded to me.”

Watch the video below:

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