As an Argentinian mathematics professor, a journalist and a popularizer of mathematics Adrián Paenza puts it, knowledge is a privilege that needs to be "socialized" or shared with others. Science and scientists aren't the ones with all the answers, and it's precisely this that makes every scientific problem, discovery, and breakthrough so exciting.
That's where talented science communicators or popularizers come in. They can help make sense of the most complicated things, inspire their audience without patronising it, and even transform people's lives, showing that science can be both enlightening and fun.
In the first part of this article, we wrote about such great science popularizers as Carl Sagan, Michio Kaku, and Chris Hadfield. Keep scrolling to read about other educators who won the hearts and minds of many people across the globe and who are absolutely worth watching or listening to for the pure joy of learning:
“One might say science is the sum total of our knowledge of the universe, the great library of the known, but the practice of science happens at the border between the known and the unknown. Standing on the shoulders of giants, we peer into the darkness with eyes opened not in fear but in wonder.”
Brian Cox is an English physicist and former musician who is a professor of particle physics in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester. Among other things, he worked on the prestigious ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. He's also one of the most famous British science popularizers who has appeared in many science radio and TV programs and received the Royal Society’s 2012 Faraday Prize “for his excellent work in science communication”.
Must watch: Brian Cox Lecture - GCSE Science brought down to Earth
Neil deGrasse Tyson
“For me, I am driven by two main philosophies: know more today about the world than I knew yesterday and lessen the suffering of others. You'd be surprised how far that gets you.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of the best-known popularizers of science in the world. He received the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, the organization’s highest civilian honour, and even has an asteroid named after him! Tyson is an astrophysicist, cosmologist, podcast host (you can check out StarTalk, his podcast on science, comedy, and popular culture), and the author of many books, including Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, which serves as a brief and fun introduction to astrophysics. When he was nine years old, he was fascinated by the stars at the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium in New York City. 29 years later, in 1996, he became the planetarium’s youngest director and has held this position since then.
Must watch: Neil deGrasse Tyson Explains The Weirdness of Quantum Physics
“Science is the key to our future, and if you don’t believe in science, then you’re holding everybody back. And it’s fine if you as an adult want to run around pretending or claiming that you don’t believe in evolution, but if we educate a generation of people who don’t believe in science, that’s a recipe for disaster.”
Bill Nye has become a household name in the US thanks to his innovative and inspiring comedy television show Bill Nye the Science Guy, which ran from 1993 to 1998. It became a hit among kids and adults and won 19 Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Performer in Children's Programming for Nye himself. Nye has a degree in mechanical engineering and is also famous for inventing an aeroplane part called a hydraulic pressure resonance suppressor tube while working for the Boeing Corporation. He is the CEO of The Planetary Society, the world's largest non-profit space-interest group, and has written several amazing science books for children, including Bill Nye’s Great Big Book of Tiny Germs.
Must watch: Bill Nye Answers Science Questions From Twitter | Tech Support | WIRED
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