Neil deGrase Tyson Plays the Race Card

An honest conversation with Neil deGrasse Tyson about issues of race, prejudging, allyship, and hard work. What is Neil’s Secret To Success? Answer: Hard Work!

Growing up, Neil didn’t have any teachers who really believe in him and expected great things from him. “I was never considered a great student by teachers” — Neil deGrasse Tyson

His SATs scores were okay but not exceptional. 15 years later, the SATs asked if they could use an excerpt from Neil’s writing on the verbal part of the SATs. Find out what happened next!

Because of his skin color, Neil had to work even harder to get to where he is today. People may think Neil was born gifted, but he contributes his success solely to hard work.

For instance, he studied Jon Stewart to watch how often Jon interrupted his guests and how he included current events in the show. As a result, Neil was invited back on the show 14 times.

Watch the full conversation here:

And a special excerpt for members only:

00:00 Introduction

01:00 Neil drops the Race Card on Brian

02:00 Deep Homework makes things look easy

03:00 How to be Jon Stewart’s most frequent guest

07:00 What happens when NdGT gets a letter from the SAT organization, ETS?

09:00 How to lessen the burden on black scientists

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Brian Keating

Brian Keating


Chancellor’s Distinguished Professor at UC San Diego. Host of The INTO THE IMPOSSIBLE Podcast Author of Losing the Nobel Prize.