Commonwealth National Podcast

Neil deGrasse Tyson: The Demotion of a Planet, and Hate Mail from Third Graders (2/5/2009)


Neil deGrasse Tyson, Director, Hayden Planetarium; Author, The Pluto Files
Brian Hackney, CBS5 Science Editor; Correspondent, "Eye on the Bay" - Moderator

In August 2006, the International Astronomical Union voted Pluto out of planet-hood. The man behind the quest to demote Pluto returns to The Club to discuss how and why Pluto lost its planet status, as well as the worldwide controversy generated by the move. Tyson says he received hate-mail from third graders for his assertion that Pluto was not a planet. He will break down how Pluto became part of the fabric of America’s cultural view of the cosmos.

This is part of the Evolve 2009 series, in recognition of the 150th anniversary of the publishing of Charles Darwin's book, Origin of the Species.

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club on February 5, 2009.