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Neil deGrasse Tyson on Racism, Space & Global Warming

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Will humans be sent to Mars, or returned to the Moon? Famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is doubtful the U.S. will do so anytime soon although funding is earmarked for it in NASA's 2020 budget. What will change that? Tyson says he's convinced it'll take outside "threats" from another country declaring its own plans to go to space to get America to act faster. 

Tyson spoke to WMUK's Earlene McMichael for today's WestSouthwest news and public affairs show in advance of his appearance on May 22 at Western Michigan University's Miller Auditorium. His presentation is entitled "Astronomy Bizarre."

He has become a pop culture figure for his ability to excite people about science.

Tyson, director of New York City's Hayden Planetarium, hosts two popular shows, "Cosmos" and "Star Talk." "Cosmos" was originally hosted by the late Carl Sagan, who too became famous for making science accessible and interesting.

In addition to space exploration, Tyson's WestSouthwest interview touched on Carl Sagan, science and religion, global warming, his personal experiences with racism, and, yes, Fox Broadcasting and National Geographic temporarily halting his shows.

The companies have since resumed them after concluding an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against Tyson.

Hear the longer interview here.

WestSouthwest news & public affairs show airs Mondays and Thursdays on WMUK 102.1 FM at 7:34 a.m., 9:34 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. You can subscribe to the WestSouthwest podcast through Apple iTunes and Google Music. There you can leave a rating and write a review.