Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson says America’s growing rejection of science could spell the end of the nation as we know it.
“It’s the beginning of the end,” he told Yahoo News and Finance anchor Bianna Golodryga. “It’s the beginning of the end of an informed democracy, the moment people are debating whether an objectively established scientific truth is true. The moment that happens, there is no informed decision-making.”
Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, said he was disturbed that government leaders were ignoring the scientific reports from the National Academy of Sciences.
“If you’re going to ignore their reports, there is no future for a country that wants to thrive in terms of its health and its wealth and its security,” he said.
Tyson said competition in all those fields require “innovation and intelligent investments” in science, technology, engineering and math.
“If you don’t have that, just watch America fade. We’re already kind of fading. Just watch it continue to fade and just disappear. It’s not a cliff, so you don’t know it. You don’t ‘oh, we’re stepping over the edge.’ No, no. It’s just, we’ll become less relevant. The world starts making decisions without us, where we used to lead those very same decisions.”
Tyson said later in the interview that there are political debates to be had around the solutions to the problems we face, but instead many are arguing over the basic facts.
“I’m so disappointed that the country that I grew up in ― that put men on the moon, that developed the internet, that invented personal computers and smartphones ― that people are debating what is and what is not scientifically true.”
See the full conversation above.