Neil deGrasse Tyson is that rarity: a scientist who has become, in recent years, virtually a household name. The host of “Cosmos” on TV last year and the director of New York’s Hayden Planetarium, he’ll be appearing Jan. 27 at the Auditorium Theatre, a nearly sold-out show on a big public speaking tour.

The tour comes on the heels of some controversy: On Christmas Tyson, a prolific and engaging user of Twitter, tweeted: “On this day long ago, a child was born who, by age 30, would transform the world. Happy Birthday Isaac Newton b. Dec 25, 1642.” This misdirection stirred up controversy in some media outlets and among some Christians.

More recent news came with the January announcement that Tyson’s “Star Talk” podcast — scientists and comics talking about space, more or less — will be coming to National Geographic Channel as a 10-episode series in April.

In this edited conversation, the astrophysicist and public intellectual discusses science in society, a possible “Cosmos” sequel, ticket prices for his speaking tour, the Christmas tweet and more.

Click here to read the interview

By Steve Johnson

Originally posted on Chicago Tribune