We all know NDT is phenomenally awesome. But if you heard him tell a six-year-old girl to bang on pots and pans and jump in puddles, even if her parents disapprove, would you still think he's bestowing sage advice? Well, you absolutely would if you heard his explanation why.
Tyson was giving a lecture at the College of the Holy Cross in Worchester, Massachusetts, on November 13th, when he was posed the question "How can first-graders help the earth?" If you have any trouble hearing the audio of his response, The Daily Dot helpfully transcribed it.
Neil deGrasse Tyson: You know what I think? Okay, so when I was in first grade I was curious about a lot of things. So heres what I want you to do… I think, when you go home, and you start poking around the kitchen—have you ever done that? Have you ever opened the cabinets, and pulled out the pots and pans, and started banging on them? Is that cool? That's fun, right? Yeah? Did your parents stop you? Yeah?
Tell them to not stop you.
Because you're just being a kid, and you like to explore things, and your parents don't like it because it gets the pots and pans dirty, and because it's noisy—but for you it's fun, you're testing. You're actually doing experiments: What does the wooden spoon sound like on the aluminium pot, or the metal ladle sound like on the steel pot? They all make different sounds, and it's fun, right?
Okay, nothing thing—so if it's raining out, there's a big puddle—what do you want to do with that puddle?
Girl: Jump in it.
Tyson: You wanna jump in it… so do you parents let you jump in it?
Tyson: Well tell your parents Doctor Neil deGrasse Tyson should jump in the puddle.
[Editor's note: At this point Tyson did a rolly-poly.]
Because when you jump in a big muddy puddle—first, it's fun right? It's completely fun, and you're making a splash crater. So, these are experiments. Just tell your parents that they're experiments, and you want to become a scientist, and then they won't stop you from doing anything you want.
Neil deGrasse Tyson: G.O.A.T.