So many scientists become scientists – astronomers, biologists, inventors – through the influence of mentors. The first episode of the new “Cosmos,” hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, recalls Tyson’s encounter as a high school student with famed astronomer and original “Cosmos” creator Carl Sagan. Seth Redfield, Assistant Professor of Astronomy at Wesleyan, also credits an early mentor with his “conversion” to astronomy.
A joint music and astrophysics major in college, Redfield went on a summer field experience in Tucson, Ariz., where he watched real star scientists doing their jobs. He recalled on WNYC’s “The Takeaway” how that influenced him.
While working that summer with an astronomer named Charlie Lindsey, “I was fascinated by him and his colleagues, Redfield said. “They spent their days working on these projects.”
During the program on Monday March 10, host John Hockenberry asked Redfield and two other astronomers about “Cosmos” ‘ effect on their early interest in the field.
“Asking the big questions is a deeply human desire,” Redfield said. “We have an insatiable human desire … to place ourselves in this cosmic context.” The first “Cosmos” series attempted to answer some of the questions, he said.