Neil deGrasse Tyson may be the most-followed scientist on Twitter with over 11 million followers, but far from encouraging and fostering enthusiasm for space science, the astrophysicist can be a notorious buzzkill.
To be fair, not all of his tweets are guilty of pretension, but the tweets that are are usually those that ridicule the public for accepting common - and often completely harmless - misunderstandings and misnomers.
Expertise in science isn't something to be lorded over the rest of us, nor is it a tool for condescension. Science doesn't progress and it certainly doesn't inspire when people like Neil deGrasse Tyson get caught up in semantics.
Neil deGrasse Tyson loves to sell the message of holding the universe in awe, but he somehow misses that we can create our own awe and inspiration for our lives along the way.
After all, the only thing worse than a mansplainer is a mansplainer with a degree in science.
1. That time he tried to ruin Star Wars for everyone.
And we were all like:
2. So he did the same thing with Game of Thrones.
Um sorry Neil, but a show featuring dragons is not based in reality.
3. That time he willfully misunderstood metaphor.
The Leap Day is misnamed. We're not leaping anywhere. The calendar is simply, and abruptly, catching up with Earth's orbit— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) February 29, 2016
*Sigh* If only the English language contained a word that somehow conveys an abrupt step forward.
4. And then proposed the exact same idea.
Don't like Leap Days? We could instead wait 28 years and insert a "Leap Week". Or 112 years and insert a "Leap Month".— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) February 29, 2016
Wait - how does this achieve anything?
5. That time he scoffed at U.S. enthusiasm for space science.
Total Solar Eclipses occur somewhere on Earth every two years, or so. So just calm yourself when people tell you they're rare— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) August 16, 2017
FYI: The Olympics moves around the world almost as much as eclipses, and with the same frequency, yet nobody calls them rare.— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) August 19, 2017
Yeah, you're right. We should be way less pumped about science.
6. And then lashed out at his critics.
Odd that we live in a time where telling people what is true in the face of what is false comes across as being a pompous ass— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) August 18, 2017
It's less what you said and more how you said it, Neil.
7. That time he was a complete party pooper on New Year's Eve.
Not that anybody's asked, but New Years Day on the Gregorian Calendar is a cosmically arbitrary event, carrying no Astronomical significance at all.— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) January 1, 2018
And his fans were like, "Happy New Year to you, too?"
True, nobody asked— Gareth Spor (@GarethSpor) January 1, 2018
JUST BECAUSE IT DOESN'T HAVE A UNIVERSAL CONSTANT ATTACHED DOESN'T MEAN IT ISN'T FUN AND INTERESTING TO MARK AN OCCASION, NEIL!
8. And he began to sound like a broken record.
To all those who reckon time on the Gregorian Calendar - Happy New Year! (FYI: January 1 is astronomically insignificant.)— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) January 1, 2016
Jan 1. A day of no astronomical significance. Except in 2014 it gets the New Moon at perigee, its closest approach to Earth.— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) January 1, 2014
January 1, 2011: Happy New Year to all -- at this arbitrary spot in Earth's orbit around the Sun.— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) January 1, 2011
Does anyone wonder if Neil ever gets invited to NYE parties?
9. That time he forgot how rhyming works.
If rhymes were accurate:— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) December 17, 2017
"Roses are red, violets are…violet."
So his followers helped remind him:
Roses are red— Jed Oliver (@Jed_Oliver) December 17, 2017
Violets are violet
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Should sometimes stay quiet
10. That time he made the Super Moon feel inferior.
If last month's Full Moon were a 16.0 inch pizza, then this month's "Super" Moon would be 16.1 inches. I'm just saying.— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) December 3, 2017
Only the fun-police end a tweet with "just saying," just saying.
11. That time he forgot making wishes on exploding balls of gas never works.
If you wished upon that first Star you saw tonight in twilight, then it will not likely come true. You wished on planet Venus— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) December 2, 2016
But his critics were way ahead of him.
12. That time he reduced a great American pastime to a string of scientific jargon.
Momentum & energy transfer. Elastic & Inelastic Collisions. Spin-stabilized projectiles. Nothing like a good game of Football— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) February 5, 2017
And we were all like, "Thanks?"
I want to die— Dolan Dark (@DolanDark) February 6, 2017
We know Neil deGrasse Tyson doesn't celebrate New Year's (because he told us like a thousand times), but his 2018 resolution should be to make science fun again.
Remember: Science is a tool for learning, not a stick with which to beat non-experts with.