Let’s Make America Smart Again, with Fareed Zakaria

Neil deGrasse Tyson, Chuck Nice, and Fareed Zakaria in the StarTalk Radio studio. Credit: Ben Ratner.
  • Free Audio
  • Ad-Free Audio

About This Episode

In the first episode of our special edition Cosmic Queries series, “Let’s Make America Smart Again,” Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice welcome CNN journalist Fareed Zakaria to break down the impact of immigration on science and technological innovation in the America. Join us for an intellectual exploration into the reasons that the United States became the world’s leading scientific and educational powerhouse after World War II, and why our current practices may threaten our leadership. You’ll learn how the Manhattan Project and the V2 rocket fed into the US space program, which was built on the backs of foreign scientists. You’ll hear about some of our highest achieving immigrants, along with why foreign nations who are creating national ecosystems where talent can flourish are beginning to reshape the academic and scientific hierarchy around the world. Neil, Fareed and Chuck debate whether it’s appropriate to require certain levels of achievement from immigrants, and the difficulty in trying to predict where you can find talent, drive, and creativity. Find out why no science has ever been done that has not had geopolitical consequences or been embedded in a political system. Investigate the concept of alternate facts, and the current assault on expertise, knowledge, and science. You’ll also hear how improving relations with Russia can be done through science, similar to the Cold War period, when scientists from opposing sides were still able to work together on the Apollo-Soyuz Mission. All this, plus, Neil reminds us how the US missed the opportunity to discover the Higgs boson in Texas had we built our own Superconducting Super Collider here at home, and why even if scientific breakthroughs don’t happen in America, we must be at least thankful that they are happening at all.

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: Let’s Make America Smart Again, with Fareed Zakaria 

In This Episode

Get the most out of StarTalk!

Ad-Free Audio Downloads
Ad-Free Video Episodes
Stickers & Mugs
Live Streams with Neil
Priority Cosmic Queries
Early-Access Videos
Learn the Meaning of Life
...and much more

Episode Topics