Last night we saw the third season premier of Star Talk on the National Geographic channel with host Neil deGrasse Tyson the director of Hayden Planetarium. Basically a talk show in format and billed as “Where Science and Pop Culture Collide” the show is actually broadcast from the Hayden Planetarium and featured Pop guests Whoopi Goldberg and comedian Chuck Nice along with Science guests astrophysicist Charles Liu and neuroscientist Staci Gruber.
Now I’ll be honest, I think the show has a little too much Pop and too little Science but of course the show is intended to make science more accessible to the general audience and nobody is better at that Dr. Tyson. Still, you didn’t get to hear anything about Dr. Liu’s work on the evolution of galaxies and Chuck Nice, who was funny, interrupted the other guests a bit too often.
The first half of the program revolved around Whoopi’s starring on Star Trek the next generation and covered Star Trek and superheroes in general. The funniest moment came when Chuck Nice was doing some “nerd in the street” interviews and asked one gentleman “How does a nerd get revenge?” the answer was “You get your Ph.D. and you hire the people that bullied you!”
The second half talked about the uses of medical marijuana and consisted in Whoopi talking about how she used it and Dr. Gruber evaluating it versus the oxycontin and other opioids. Now, I’m not going to get involved in the argument about Marijuana so I’ll just say that Dr. Gruber did a good job of stating the case for reasonable use of ‘grass’ instead of many of the drugs now being overprescribed.
Personally I was a bit disappointed in the season premier of Star Talk but hopefully Dr. Tyson will soon move on to subjects more to my taste. Again, the biggest problem was simply that Dr. Liu had little to say aside from what a nerd he was and how much he liked Science Fiction. Maybe he’ll be back to talk to talk about the Cosmic Evolution Survey (COSMOS).
P.S. During the show there was also an ad for the new series (or miniseries) Mars that will premier on National Geographic channel on November 14. It looks good and I will certainly be watching and writing about it.