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Renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson to visit

Wednesday, November 21, 2012    

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UNITED States Ambassador to Jamaica Pamela E Bridgewater will host renowned American astrophysicist and science communicator Dr Neil deGrasse Tyson next Wednesday.

Dr Tyson's brief visit to the island will be shaped by a lecture/presentation dubbed 'Star Talk' 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.

What promises to be an interactive hour-and-a-half session will focus on space exploration and the cosmos. Dr 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 areas.

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

Dr Tyson is the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Centre for Earth and Space, and a Research Associate in the Department of Astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History. Dr Tyson's professional research interests are broad and include star formation, exploding stars, dwarf galaxies, and the structure of our Milky Way. In 2001, Tyson was appointed by US President George Bush to serve on a 12-member commission that studied the future of the US aerospace industry.

The final report was published in 2002 and contained recommendations for Congress and for the major agencies of the US government that would promote a thriving future of transportation, space exploration, and national security. Since 2006, Dr 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!

Dr Tysons visit underscores the US government's overall commitment to science diplomacy in Jamaica and the region as his visit follows an Embassy-initiated science workshop, held in August. The workshop taught educators techniques through which mathematical and scientific principles may be imparted through sports such as soccer, basketball, and track and field. Three sessions were held across the island in collaboration with the University of the West Indies, the University of Technology and the Ministry of Education.

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