Do you ever think about the sheer size and scale of the universe and feel incredibly small? Just look at the Pale Blue Dot photo of us taken from 6 billion kilometres away. Not only is it incredibly overwhelming how tiny are are in the grand scheme of the universe, but it’s enough to give even the chillest Earth dweller a little anxiety.
So, instead of basking in our existential angst, we thought it’d be best to chat to a few people who actually know what they’re talking about. Astrophysicist, author and science communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson and Emmy and Peabody Award-winning writer, producer, and director Ann Druyan stopped by to lend their scientific expertise – and sassy hot takes – to the latest episode of It’s Been A Big Day For…
Listen to our chat with Neil and Ann below:
When asked about what aspect of space blows their minds most, Tyson responded, “However far we boast of having reached, [the Earth] is so small compared to the size of the galaxy.”
Druyan chimed in to agree, saying, “What blows my mind, is to be so small, but to ask such big questions.”
Despite technically being as small as we feel, Tyson said everything in the universe is made up of the same ingredients. “On Earth we have this urge as humans to want to feel special. When you look at the universe, and you see the ingredients, it’s the same ingredients that are in our bodies – the hydrogen, the oxygen, carbon, nitrogen – the most common ingredients in the universe, are the most common ingredients in life on Earth.”
“The idea that we are special, I think should be rethought,” he said. “Maybe, we’re special not because we’re different, but because we’re the same.”
During our chat with Neil deGrasse Tyson and Ann Druyan, we also spoke about why science isn’t about having our biases and projections confirmed, the idea that if we were all scientists, war might not exist, searching for truth in an era of fake news, how scientists (and aliens) are depicted in pop culture, and finding ease in the cosmos.
Speaking of the cosmos, Cosmos: Possible Worlds, presented by Neil deGrasse Tyson and executive produced by Ann Druyan premieres on March 9th on National Geographic.
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