Tue | Apr 24, 2018

Space exploration on US astrophysicist's agenda in Jamaica

Published:Wednesday | November 21, 2012 | 12:00 AM

American astrophysicist and science communicator Dr Neil deGrasse Tyson will be in the island next week to engage Jamaicans in interactive discussions focused on space exploration and the cosmos.

Tyson will be hosted in the island by United States Ambassador Pamela Bridgewater.

His brief visit to the island on November 28 will be shaped by a lecture/presentation dubbed 'Star Talk' to be held at the US Embassy in Kingston.

The event will be attended by more than 200 invited guests, including university and high-school students, educators, members of the Astronomical Association of Jamaica, the Meteorological Services of Jamaica and officials from Jamaica's Ministry of Education.

Tyson will later that evening present to an audience comprising Jamaican government officials, members of the Jamaica Teachers' Association, key members of the local business community and members of the diplomatic corps, at an event held at the ambassador's residence. His evening presentation will highlight the importance of systematic and institutional support of the sciences with greater accessibility to the study of subject area(s).

His evening presentation will be followed by a reception and book signing, as guests will each receive a copy of Space Chronicles, authored by Tyson.

Tyson is the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space and research associate in the Department of Astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History. His professional research interests are broad and include star formation, exploding stars, dwarf galaxies, and the structure of our Milky Way.

Since 2006, Tyson has hosted the educational science television show 'NOVA scienceNOW' on PBS and has been a frequent guest on 'The Daily Show', 'The Colbert Report', 'Real Time with Bill Maher', and 'Jeopardy!'

Tyson's visit underscores the US government's overall commitment to science diplomacy in Jamaica and the region as it follows an embassy-initiated science workshop held last August. The workshop taught educators techniques through which mathematics and scientific principles may be imparted through sports such as soccer, basketball, and track and field.