Excited, animated and undeniably brilliant, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, the author of Astrophysics for People in a Hurry and Director of the Hayden Planetarium needs little introduction as one of this year’s Carl Sandburg Literary Awards recipients.
Before we get a chance to hear him speak at the Sandburg Dinner, we wanted to give ourselves a quick review on his paramount new book, Accessory to War: The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military.
Known for making complicated subject matter understandable and approachable to the general public – this post is for Foundation followers who might not already know about his quick-wittedness, depth of knowledge, and ability to look objectively at astrophysics and how it relates to the larger human experience.
About the Book
In exploring the storied relationship between science and military power, renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and writer-researcher Avis Lang examine how science and astrophysics have been leveraged in war since the beginning of time. “The universe is both the ultimate frontier and the highest of high grounds,” they write. “Shared by both space scientists and space warriors, it’s a laboratory for one and a battlefield for the other. The explorer wants to understand it; the soldier wants to dominate it. But without the right technology—which is more or less the same technology for both parties—nobody can get to it, operate in it, scrutinize it, dominate it, or use it to their advantage and someone else’s disadvantage.”
A riveting thought. But it begs the questions ‘how much does this type of thinking resonate within their field – or more importantly – within the general public’?
What Others Are Saying
“Archimedes and Leonardo worked for their Departments of Defense, and when the telescope was invented it was an immediate instrument of war. Why do astrophysicists even have jobs? asks Neil deGrasse Tyson. Now you can see the inside story, from early times to the cold war, the Apollo program, spy satellites and the Hubble Space Telescope, the Iraq war, and perhaps asteroid mining. A wonderful book and a fascinating read, full of amazing stories, all backed up with deep scholarship.” — John Mather, Winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics
“A sweeping panoramic overview of the enduring alliance between astrophysics and the military—from the Greeks to Galileo to GPS.” — Science
“Accessory to War is a phenomenal work that should be required reading for policy makers everywhere.” — William E. Burrows, author of Deep Black: Space Espionage and National Security and This New Ocean: The Story of the First Space Age
To learn more about Accessory to War, already a New York Times Bestseller and the book NPR is calling “fascinating,” click here. To learn more about this year’s Carl Sandburg Literary Awards Dinner, click here. To stay up-to-date with the astrophysicist himself, you can follow Neil on Twitter.