Famed science expert Neil deGrasse Tyson is coming to Philadelphia’s Academy of Music on Wednesday, Nov. 30 for “An Astrophysicist Goes to the Movies.” In it, the real science behind some of the world’s most celebrated films will be discussed — from “Star Wars” to “Frozen” to cult classics you might not have heard of. We chatted with Dr. Tyson about being an unknowing science consultant on “The Martian,” movies that get the science right and what he loves about Philly.
What can we expect from “An Astrophysicist Goes to the Movies?”
People think that I just debunk movies primarily but I think that I am deeply misunderstood. [Laughs] My goal is to enhance your appreciation and understanding of what a movie is trying to portray. It has been cast as kind of nitpicky and I understand why some people think that way but what I want you to know is that’s not my intent. My intent is to enlighten your moviegoing experience. Wouldn’t you want to know if the director got something wrong?
Yeah, it’s no different than – let’s say – your loved one is a car expert and then there’s a movie that occurs in 1968 but there’s a 1962 Bellaire parked on the street and you were like, “No that didn’t come out yet!” That stuff is interesting to know. It could just be a slip-up or complete ignorance on behalf of the set designers. Why do we allow others with expertise to give their comments on movies but not allow the scientists to give scientific comments?