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Letters From An Astrophysicist

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4.09  ·  Rating details ·  3,535 ratings  ·  423 reviews
The natural follow-up to the phenomenal bestseller Astrophysics for People in a Hurry.

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has attracted one of the world’s largest online followings with his fascinating, widely accessible insights into science and our universe. Now, Tyson invites us to go behind the scenes of his public fame by unveiling his candid correspondence with people
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Hardcover, 272 pages
Published October 8th 2019 by W. W. Norton Company
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Tanvir Khan Indeed it is, enjoy! Electronic reproduction by W. W. Norton & Company.

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Will Byrnes
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Yes, the universe wants to kill us. But on the other hand, we all want to live. So let’s find a way together to deflect the asteroids, find the cure to the next lethal virus, mitigate hurricanes, tsunamis, volcanoes, etc. This can only be enabled by the efforts of a scientifically and technologically literate public. Therein lies a hope on Earth far greater than ever promised by the act of prayer or introspection.
It can be a bit of a challenge when talking about Neil deGrasse Tyson, deciding
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David
Dec 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science, memoirs
This is a very engaging book; it is simply a collection of letters and emails that Neil Tyson has received, along with his responses. Most of the correspondence dates back ten or twelve years ago, with some outliers. It never occurred to me that he would receive such voluminous correspondence, and much of it not at all related to his specialty--astrophysics. People ask him questions and for his opinion on a very wide range of subjects; some of the questions deal with philosophical issues, and do ...more
Ryan Boissonneault
Nov 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Letters from an Astrophysicist is a collection of letters and replies from Neil deGrasse Tyson to his fans and other inquirers, collected over a span of more than two decades. The topics range across science, religion, philosophy, politics, ethics, education, and more, with Tyson doing his best to impart his cosmic wisdom to his often ill-informed interrogators.

You might ask what benefits can be derived from reading this collection of letters, rather than reading Tyson’s other works or watching
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Kristina
Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Letters From an Astrophysicist is a snack-sized book packed with good reading. In less than 300 pages, this collection of letters and emails Tyson has received and responded to over a 20 year span offers up a variety of topics that all touch on science: parenting, disbelief, motivation, compassion, education and other concerns. Tyson loosely groups these communications into categories. The correspondence between Tyson and the senders is an interesting glimpse into what conc ...more
Ross Blocher
Dec 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great! More detailed review to come.
Rafael
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“Letters from an Astrophysicist” by Neil deGrasse Tayson 🔭 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This is my Second book by the always masterful Neil degrades Tyson and i completely loved it! Is brilliant and even though there is a lot of questions for this great science man all of them have a unique and masterful response, Neil Could easily do a mic drop with every answer, this book is full of knowledge, answers and powerful stories. I always pick Neil books on audible when he is the narrator is priceless to listen to him
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Mustafa Jawad
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When I give a book 5 stars, I ask myself: Did I not want to stop reading? Was I turning the pages as time seemed to fly by? Did I feel a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment after completion? This book matches my criterion.
The letters are short, witty, quick, and an excellent source of bite sized, intellectual eloquence. This book is far more pragmatic than say," Astrophysics For People In a Hurry." It has all the personality and heart that neil tyson intended to pour into this book. If you
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Mark Mortensen
Feb 12, 2020 rated it liked it
In this book astrophysicist author Neal deGrasse Tyson reveals his inner thoughts through personal correspondence.

As a pure scientist he aligns with hard proven facts. His NYC residence was just 4 blocks from the world towers on 9/11/2001. I’m amazed that he witnessed the horror and carnage as mere facts. Life would be boring if everyone were the same; however I feel fortunate that I trust facts, but also have faith in a higher power, a God and believe in the power of prayer.
Hamid
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science
This is a wonderful book which is a collection of letters and emails Tyson has received over many years of being active as a science communicator. The letters cover a range of different topics, from alien encounters to possibility of life on other planets, to skepticism and so on. The most important thing that I learned from this book is that an objective reality is true irrespective of one's personal opinion or belief. Gravity is real whether or not you and I believe in it. That's why science i ...more
Bev
Sep 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Tyson provides us with 101 letters--most are his responses to everyone from concerned parents to curious children to men behind prison walls to teachers to those who ardently disagree with his scientific stance. A few are his letters to the editor of various newspapers and magazines and one is his open letter to NASA on the occasion of its (and his own) 60th birthday.

The book is charmingly informative--full of Tyson's succinct and sometimes humorous responses to questions and argument. It is als
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Abhishek Desikan
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have followed Neil deGrasse Tyson for a long time. YouTube, books, Star Talk podcasts, a live talk, Cosmos, etc., are some of the ways I've become accustomed to his style and views on all things under the sun (pardon the pun). In spite of that, this book was a refreshing change, as perhaps for the first time, we get to see the personal, empathetic side of the man, who is exceptionally rational most of the time.

The book is precisely what the title suggests - a compendium of various letters writ
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Andrienne
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great companion for Astrophysics for People in a Hurry. This book is a compilation of letters that the author received from strangers as well as letters he wrote to everyone and as opinion pieces. The letters are filled with curious questions about science, complaints, and well-meaning fans just wanting to know where the author stands in topics that the letter-writers feel strongly about.

Advance reading copy provided by the publisher.
Aberdeen
I put this in the “for writers” shelf, because Tyson is a master of succinctness and lucidity. I am the opposite, but that's why I'm reading books like this. Even if you don't care about science, this book is worth reading to appreciate his clear and engaging communication.

This is my first foray into Tyson's writing, and I definitely want to read his other books. I'm sure they dive much deeper into scientific concepts he touches on here. But the strength of this book, in addition to his writing
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Erik Rostad
Mar 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-books
Highly enjoyable, concise and human. Made me want to read his other books.
Jeff
My wife Lisa received Letters From An Astrophysicist free with her ticket to see Neil deGrasse Tyson in person in Minneapolis last October. I had already purchased tickets to see Sleater-Kinney in St. Paul that night so I missed out, but I have seen Neil twice live and I'll see him when he returns to the Twin Towns.

In his latest book, Neil shares his correspondence with folks in a number of difference subjects. He touches on just about everything in the 101 letters. His responses range from hil
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megan baggins
Oct 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
In any case, I am delighted to learn that I have helped, in whatever small way, to sustain the rage of your cosmic flame.

Really, really enjoyed this! What a brilliant man 💫

Also, I love when famous thinkers and doers take time out of their busy days and busy lives to write back to those they've inspired. It warms my heart.
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Carlos Gonzalez
Oct 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
It’s was good. I like Neils explanations on religion and science and how the in a way can come to common ground but not really. It’s very interesting both all the letter to Neil and Niels responses and his point of views. Definitely a must read!
Hannah Bergstrom de Leon
Aug 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
I found this book thought provoking. Tyson pushed me to reconsider and re-articulate some of my deepest beliefs and I appreciate him for that. It is a practice that continues to keep my belief system engaged and imbued with vitality and clarity. I also deeply appreciated his deeply compassionate side for many of those who wrote him.
Daniel Kukwa
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Dear Dr. deGrasse Tyson, thank you for assembling a lovely collection of correspondence than gives me bucket-loads to add into my own teaching of students, as well as thoughts that mirror my own views of life, the universe, and everything. Wonderful stuff!
Kristina Robbins
Sep 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
A good introduction to Dr. Tyson, his writing style and his beliefs. I love the way he communicates and I'm looking forward to reading more of his work. ...more
Mansoury
Nov 14, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Disappointed that it’s mostly not about astrophysics

From a massive NDT fan, I was disappointed to find that it’s not a book about astrophysics but just random thoughts and stories. I thought the title was misleading because I sadly expected this book to be a merging of Astrophysics for People in a Hurry and Brief Answers to the Big Questions, which was also a compilation of letters and responses by Stephen Hawking.
Sandra (folded.between.pages.of.books)
Not really sure how to rate this one but I enjoyed reading his take on things, him standing up for himself and some of his mindblowing revelations. I did sometimes think he came across a little egocentric and sometimes I didn't think his answers were really answers... but maybe that's just me.
Either way, I did enjoy this and it was a very quick read.
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Víctor Álvarez
Nov 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
If a spacecraft could survive the temperatures on the surface of the Sun, it would be cold compared to the burns delivered by Neil deGrasse Tyson.

This books offers a look to the inner workings of the mind of Dr Tyson.
Melissa
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2019
Whether he is getting deep into scientific explanation or into something more personal, whether his responses were informative, funny, a sick burn or mic drop, or insightful and thought provoking...I enjoyed every letter he included and how he responded to them all.
Damon
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is poetry for the scientific-minded. Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson gives an insight into some of his correspondence with fans, colleagues, and haters who wrote to him when his e-mail was publicly available. He responds to the fans, the curious, the religious, and atheists in equal measure, and gives well thought out answers, all the while using (if not outright defending) the scientific method as a tool to better understand the world around us. In a charged political climate, his writings ha ...more
Nick D
May 09, 2020 rated it liked it
I love NDT and he's a national treasure. An excellent writer and the consummate science communicator, he is truly someone I want to emulate in my on communications. This is a collection of his personal correspondence to friends, family, fans, and haters, and covers many aspects of astrophysics and science. Too much on religion for me, but I guess that's interesting to some people.

One thing he emphasized that stuck out to me was that he's not concerned as much with teaching people facts but rath
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Vaishnavi Jayakumar
Mar 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
This book is filled with wisdom in the form letters. I got answers to the questions I never thought existed. I never knew that there is a conflict between science and religion, which is majorly discussed here......
A person's excellence is seen when they come down to explain their knowledge to ordinary people,who know little about a complicated concept......u see this here.
After reading this book, I felt like Dr. Tyson is the Gandhi of science world.....
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John Young
Jan 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
3.5/5

“When I wonder what I am capable of as a human being, I don’t look to “relatives,” I look to all human beings. That is the genetic relationship that matters to me. The genius of Isaac Newton, the courage of Joan of Arc and Gandhi, the athletic feats of Michael Jordan, the oratorical skills of Sir Winston Churchill, the compassion of Mother Teresa. I look to the entire human race for inspiration for what I can be—because I am human. I don’t care if I am a descendent of kings or paupers, sain
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Dan Graser
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This wonderful brief volume is an excellent follow-up to his equally brief and equally potent, "Astrophysics for People in a Hurry," in that you get a varied glimpse into the ebulliently enthusiastic workings of a great mind. Here, the story is told through the dying art form of letters (mostly, though of course there are some "open letters" and extended Facebook posts included) in which NdGT talks with fans, to open audiences, to folks challenging his views, and to a wide swath of the public on ...more
Kelly Sedinger
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-reads, science
There's not a whole lot of technical stuff in here, if you're intimidated by some of Tyson's other books. Here he responds to a bunch of letters, emails, and other communications he's received over the years, touching on many topics, from hopeful young people asking him for advice in pursuing the sciences to enthusiastic believers in crank notions like perpetual motion to doubters like climate change denialists to the outright hostilities of creationists. The book is more a hearty cheer for the ...more
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Neil deGrasse Tyson was born and raised in New York City where he was educated in the public schools clear through his graduation from the Bronx High School of Science. Tyson went on to earn his BA in Physics from Harvard and his PhD in Astrophysics from Columbia.

Tyson's professional research interests are broad, but include star formation, exploding stars, dwarf galaxies, and the structure of our
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Articles featuring this book

For more than a decade, Neil deGrasse Tyson, the world-renowned astrophysicist and host of the popular radio and Emmy-nominated...
87 likes · 16 comments
“True science literacy is less about what you know and more about how your brain is wired for asking questions.” 7 likes
“Now think of a professor who faces you from the front of the room; who makes eye contact with the audience; who has invested time and energy thinking about how you think; who pays attention to your attention span; who is aware of what words you know and what words or concepts confuse you; who knows the demographics of the audience—age, gender, nationality, ethnicity, political leanings, cultural leanings, propensity to laugh, to cry; who carries some pop-culture fluency, for easy reference and analogy, but only when teaching the subject can be assisted by such references. That person is not lecturing to you. That person has opened conduits tailored to that audience in that moment, and at that time. That’s communicating.” 1 likes
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