Well-known astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson will be sharing his research on recent scientific events through a lecture at the Koger Center for the Arts Wednesday night.
Tyson's event at the Koger Center is the third stop on his 2023 tour. Each show has the chance to choose one topic from 15 different options that Tyson can cover. Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium and host of the podcast "StarTalk," said these talks are "entertainingly informational."
At Koger, Tyson will be giving his talk “This Just In: Latest Discoveries in the Universe," which covers topics like the James Webb Space Telescope and the Nobel Prizes given for quantum entanglement.
Though by technical terms this is a tour, Tyson does not want to treat it as a tour. In his opinion, a tour is used to promote someone's new product, such as a book or an album, but Tyson wants to use this event to celebrate science and empower his audience to continue to learn.
"We spend a lot of time doing a lot of nothing in our lives, and so I would say if you're otherwise going to do nothing, then come to my public talk," Tyson said. "I'll make it totally worth your intellectual while to do so."
The Roberts Group, who is presenting the event, spoke to many people in Columbia in order to choose the topic for the Columbia event. Members of the astronomy club at the university and employees from the planetarium, the South Carolina State Museum and the Koger Center gave input on which of the 15 topics they would like to hear before the Roberts Group made the final decision.
Kristi Chambers, the director of marketing and public relations for the Roberts Group, said she believes this is a huge opportunity for the community.
"He has a wonderful personality and really makes these lectures fun and engaging, obviously interesting, but they're not your traditional science lecture you that would see. It's something that a lot of people can engage with and probably laugh during," Chambers said.
One topic that venues can choose is titled "An Astrophysicist Goes to the Movies." In this lecture, Tyson describes which movies got their science correct and which movies did not. Another lecture topic is centered around his new book, "Starry Messenger: Cosmic Perspectives on Civilization." However, he said he believes just talking about the book makes the gathering less special.
"My philosophy there is, if you're going to pay to hear me give a public talk, let it be on a subject you don't have access to at all otherwise," Tyson said.
Chip Wade, the Koger Center's marketing and public relations director, said that the topics to choose from were interesting and is excited to hear more information at the event.
"Whenever I hear him talk, I always learn something new that I had no idea about," Wade said.
Tyson said he is flattered when people are willing to watch a show where he is talking about his scientific research and discoveries.
"People who have come to my talks before, they know it's a night out basically, because it's in a theater for goodness' sake, and I don't ever take it for granted that people will come hear an astrophysicist speak in a theater," Tyson said.
Tyson's event begins at 7:30 p.m. and tickets can be purchased through the Koger Center for the Arts website.