Moyers & Company

Season 3, Episode 1 of 52

When Bill Moyers announced his intention to retire just weeks ago, he received - and read - thousands of messages on his website and Facebook urging him to stay on the air. "I felt as if I were going AWOL in the heat of battle," he said. So he revoked his decision, opting instead to continue with a half-hour version of his program that "will still give us flexibility to offer a forum to strong and provocative voices." With the motto "Occupy Democracy," Bill Moyers continues his popular weekly broadcast "Moyers & Company" and begins a new half-hour format with nothing short of the universe itself. The revised telecast kicks off on January 10th with the first of a series of conversations with famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, Frederic P. Rose director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Their wide-ranging interview touches on a variety of topics, including the nature of an expanding, accelerating universe (and how it will end), the difference between "dark energy" and "dark matter," the concept of God in cosmology and why science matters. "Science is an enterprise that should be cherished as an activity of the free human mind," Tyson tells Moyers. "Because it transforms who we are, how we live, and it gives us an understanding of our place in the universe." Tyson appears on "Moyers & Company" (check local listings:, as he hosts a new and updated version of the hit television series "Cosmos." It's been almost 35 years since PBS premiered the original "Cosmos," hosted by the late Carl Sagan. It was one the most successful public television series of all time, viewed by over 600 hundred million people in more than 60 countries. In the decades since, the universe has kept moving - literally - and so has science, which is why "Cosmos" is returning this spring, this time courtesy of the National Geographic Channel and Fox TV. "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" offers a whole new interstellar journey through tens of millions of years and hundreds of millions of miles to the farthest reaches of outer space. Neil deGrasse Tyson is perhaps the best-known scientist in America today, a stalwart defender of science literacy as a kind of vaccine against charlatans who would try to exploit ignorance. The Hayden Planetarium that he heads is the very place where, as a nine-year-old kid from the Bronx, Tyson first felt the universe calling him to become a scientist in thrall to the night sky. He narrates the planetarium's breathtaking new show "Dark Universe." Tyson has written ten books including a memoir, "The Sky is Not the Limit," and his most recent, "Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier". And, of course, "People" magazine once voted him the "Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive!"

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