A black astrophysicist named Neil DeGrasse Tyson, who heads the Hayden Planetarium in New York City, may be the best known, best respected, and most popular scientist in the United States since Carl Sagan. He hosts the new Cosmos series running on Fox News and several other channels every Sunday night. In 2000, People magazine named him the sexiest astrophysicist alive.
Tyson discusses how he decided, at the age of nine, that he wanted to be an astrophysicist, and his determination never wavered. Many roadblocks were put in his way by teachers and others when they found out what he wanted to be. Several of them suggested sports, instead. He believes women with an interest in science have to overcome the same kinds of hurdles, put in their way by our culture.
We must stop putting obstacles in the paths of women and minorities. We need them to help solve the overwhelming problems we face as a species.