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Neil deGrasse Tyson on Trump & NASA

Larry King NowJul 03 '17

Neil deGrasse Tyson responds to Trump’s decision not to slash the overall NASA budget, commenting that while he’s “delighted” to hear that the President is “a fan of space,” he’s wary of the cuts Trump proposed within the budget – namely to the earth sciences program. 

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Larry King: Are you encouraged by the fact that the Trump administration didn’t cut the budget for NASA?

Neil deGrasse Tyson: Well, there was some weirdness in there. Yes, the budget was not cut. We were delighted to hear he was a fan of space. But there was talk, at some point, of“we’ll keep the budget there or top it off. But we have to remove earth science from it.” And that actually had appeared in NASA’s original charter back in 1958 - that it would study Earth as well as the planets and the stars. So, if you take away Earth -and Earth is the system that supports us, our life, and our livelihood- uh, I don’t know what the consequences of that. So you have to watch the...was it sheep in clothing? How does that expression go?

Larry King: Wolf in sheep's clothing

Neil deGrasse Tyson: I’m a city kid.

Larry King: Me too. But I know that one.

Neil deGrasse Tyson: You know that one. A wolf in sheep's clothing. So, my hope was always with the Trump administration...He’s a businessman. Business people: you expect them to make decisions that are sort of simple and blunt regarding money, for example. And any good businessperson knows that you need a healthy flow of money into the RND part of your company to assure survival and competitiveness going forward. So it seems to me, he ought to be responsive to an argument such as: “By the way, investments in science, technology, engineering and math (the stem fields), as a nation, will have help America. Inc to thrive and compete in the outyears when the fruits of these investments arrive.” And that’s a business statement; forget the politics. You can make that just as a simple business argument. My hope is that some part of him can listen to that.

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