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Neil deGrasse Tyson: Why Do We Have to Be Shocked Into Being Motivated to Lead?

April 28, 2013, 12:00 AM
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"I don't like Sputnik moments," says the astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. After all, if you experience a "Sputnik moment," it means you are playing catch-up. That's the situation the U.S. faced after the Soviet Union launched the first satellite into space in 1957. NASA was created in response. The U.S. is facing a similar situation today, trailing China in the 21st century race not only to space, but to create energy independence.

And yet, Tyson takes issue with President Obama evoking the notion of a "Sputnik moment" when it comes to energy. "That’s not a Sputnik moment," he says. "We should have those things anyway. Sputnik moments, you reserve those for grand visions that take your mind, body and soul to places that no one had previously dreamed."

In the video below, we asked Tyson how we might apply the notion of a "Sputnik moment" to our own lives, as we look for those occasions that compel us to invent for tomorrow.

Watch the video here:

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

More from the Big Idea for Sunday, April 28 2013

Sputnik Moments

Is innovation best pursued through fear or through long-term thinking? NASA, the government entity responsible for so much U.S. innovation in the 20th century, was a response to fear. The Sovie... Read More…

 

Neil deGrasse Tyson: Why Do...

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