2008 Washburn Award Recipient

Neil deGrasse Tyson, PhD

Frederick P. Rose Director, Hayden Planetarium, American Museum of Natural History; television host, NOVA scienceNOW

Neil deGrasse Tyson, PhD, is the first occupant of the Frederick P. Rose directorship of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History. He earned his BA in physics from Harvard University and his PhD in astrophysics from Columbia University.

Dr. Tyson's research interests include star formation, exploding stars, dwarf galaxies, and the structure of our Milky Way. He has served on two presidential commissions — one focused on the future of the US aerospace industry and the other on the implementation of the US space exploration policy. In 2006 NASA appointed Dr. Tyson to its prestigious advisory council, which helps the agency fit its ambitious vision into its restricted budget.

In addition to his monthly "Universe" essays in Natural History magazine, Dr. Tyson has written eight books, including his memoir The Sky Is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist and his recent New York Times bestseller Death by Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries. His Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution, which he co-authored with Donald Goldsmith, became the companion book to the 2004 PBS NOVA miniseries Origins, which Dr. Tyson hosted. He is also a host of the PBS NOVA scienceNOW program.

Dr. Tyson is the recipient of nine honorary doctorates and the NASA distinguished public service medal. The International Astronomical Union has recognized his contribution to the public appreciation of the cosmos with the naming of asteroid "13123 Tyson."