The Rise of the Celebrity Scientist
Carl Sagan brought the cosmos to our T.V. screens. Stephen Hawking wrote a bestseller. And last week, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson assumed the host chair in his own late night talk show. They might not have the public profile of actors or rock stars, but in his new book The New Celebrity Scientists, communications researcher Declan Fahy argues that some scientists have cracked the fame code—which is a good thing for science. Fahy talks with Ira about how superstar scientists from Hawking to Tyson have used their celebrity to influence society, and science. Read an excerpt here.
Earlier this week, we asked you about celebrity scientists over Twitter:
Some interesting data from our celebrity scientist poll the other day. This is who you named: pic.twitter.com/J6ltY3vPIM
— Science Friday (@scifri) April 30, 2015
This is who you named, excluding the top three. pic.twitter.com/v9QRKdrol1 — Science Friday (@scifri) April 30, 2015
Only 18% of the celebrity scientists named were women. pic.twitter.com/u0D2iCfNaw — Science Friday (@scifri) April 30, 2015
A slim majority of people think that scientists do not have an obligation to be public figures. pic.twitter.com/J8N55LWJ9x — Science Friday (@scifri) April 30, 2015
Declan Fahy is assistant professor of communication at American University.
Annie Minoff is a producer for The Journal from Gimlet Media and the Wall Street Journal, and a former co-host and producer of Undiscovered. She also plays the banjo.