“I Have This Duty…”

When Neil DeGrasse Tyson was a high school student applying to colleges, he got a personal invitation from Carl Sagan to tour the lab at Cornell. Here’s Tyson telling the story of the encounter:

I was struck by the strength of his conviction, that he has a duty to younger people, just as Sagan was kind to him. I remember again when I served (using the term deliberately) as planetarium director, and how important it was to have question-and-answer sessions after each show. Like it or not, we scientists and science communicators are the public face of science, and we have a duty to answer patiently the questions put to us by children…who in turn will pass kindness and knowledge on to later generations. I hope we don’t fail in this duty.

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