Science & Tech, Business

What You Know Is Not as Important as How You Think

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Lesson time 06:02 min

Meet your new instructor: world-renowned astrophysicist, Emmy-nominated host, author, and science communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson. Neil welcomes you and discusses the importance of scientific thinking and communication.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: What You Know Is Not as Important as How You Think


[MUSIC PLAYING] NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON: There's hardly anything I say or do that isn't in some way influenced by a cosmic perspective. When I go up to people, if someone happens to be a little depressed or their life isn't going as they want it, I remind them that atoms of your body are traceable to stars that have exploded across the galaxy. And out of that scattered enrichment forms next generations of star systems that have the ingredients that will make planets. And in at least one planet, make human life. Here we are on Earth. You wake up. You have breakfast. Go to work, go to school, take care of the home. We are a participant in an ecosystem. And so when you put all this together, you realize it's not that we are here and the universe is there. It's not that we are humans and everything else isn't. It's that we are a participant in the great unfolding of cosmic events. And for me, that gives a sense of belonging. That's a cosmic perspective that allows you to sort of sit up straight and look around and say, I belong to something bigger than my daily routine. That's a gift of 20th century astrophysics to civilization. That awareness. That sense of participation. You're not separate and distinct from the universe. You are part of the universe. You are in the universe The universe is in you. [MUSIC PLAYING] I can guarantee you that the most important moments of your life are decided not by what you know, but by how you think. What do you do when you confront a problem you've never seen before? Do you say, I'm not trained for this, and walk away? You say, wow, that's a problem I've never seen before. Let me try to solve it. Science literacy is not so much about what you know, but about how your brain is wired for thought, how your brain is wired to ask questions, empowering you to probe knowledge and information that's out there in the quest for what is objectively true in this world. Personally, I'd rather live in the reality of what is true, because when I make decisions based on it, they have a chance of arriving at a solution. Challenges, problems that face you, your family, society, the world. As you probably know, there's, like, a gazillion hours of me on the internet on YouTube, on Vevo, wherever. In almost every case, I'm talking about the universe. There's a interested reporter who's asking about black holes, Pluto, the big bang, time travel, god. What I have reserved for this MasterClass is to show you what's going on inside of me as I communicate with the public. So what I'm going to share with you is the methods and tools of science that enable us to go from ignorance of what is going on to an understanding of what is going on, and ultimately leading to an established objective truth. To not only find objective truths, but then communicate to others how to get there. Communication is half the work. Knowing how to do it, that's the first half. Doing it, that's the second half. And you'll see a side of me tha...

About the Instructor

With a hit talk show and bestselling books, Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of the most popular figures in modern science. Now the influential astrophysicist teaches you how his mind works and how he connects with audiences. Learn to think like a skeptic, open your own mind through scientific literacy, distill data, and navigate bias to discover objective truths—and deliver your ideas in ways that engage, excite, and inspire.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson teaches you how to find objective truths and shares his tools for communicating what you discover.

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