Lindsey Vonn on the podium. Image Credit: U.S. Ski Team / CC BY (
Lindsey Vonn on the podium. Image Credit: U.S. Ski Team / CC BY (

Pro Athlete Cosmic Queries

Lindsey Vonn on the podium at the 2010 World Cup. Image Credit: U.S. Ski Team / CC BY (
  • Free Audio
  • Ad-Free Audio
  • Ad-Free Video

About This Episode

On this episode of StarTalk Sports Edition, we’re flipping the script. Usually, when we answer Cosmic Queries, they’re submitted by the great fans of the StarTalk Podcast Network. However, in this very special edition of Cosmic Queries, Neil deGrasse Tyson, alongside co-hosts Gary O’Reilly and Chuck Nice, is answering Cosmic Queries from some of the world’s top athletes.

To start, you’ll hear a question from Nicole Heaverlind, captain of the USA Women’s Sevens Rugby Team. Before we get to Nicole’s question, Gary gives us some background on the popularity of rugby around the world. We also explore the differences between rugby and soccer culture. Then, on to Nicole’s question, and it’s a good one: Do you think there will be interplanetary colonization in our lifetime? Neil explains why colonization might be a stretch but visitation could be in our near future. That begs a follow up – where would we go? You’ll learn about the enticing moons of Saturn and Jupiter. 

Then, it’s on to the next question from professional skateboarder Joey Brezinski: How do we maintain a positive climate reaction when we come out of the COVID-19 pandemic? Neil tells us about a possible societal silver lining that could emerge from our current situation. We also discuss how the pandemic has helped us discover solutions to problems that we didn’t even know held us back.

Next up: Lindsey Vonn, Olympic gold medalist and one of the best skiers in history. Lindsey asks Neil about the popularity and “impact” of astrology. Neil gives us some of history illustrating why astrology is so implanted in our minds and society. You’ll also learn how astrology started in a pre-science era and how it’s been looked at since we’ve entered our current scientific era. 

Last but not least, we end our pro athletes show with a question from previous StarTalk guest, Cam F. Awesome, professional boxer and speaker. Cam asks Neil a question we’ve all wondered: How can teachers make science more engaging? We investigate the relationship between subject and teacher. All that, plus, Neil shares why science need not be taught with a barrel of facts, but as a way of querying nature.

Special thanks to Uninterrupted.

NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons and All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.


About the prints that flank Neil in this video:

“Black Swan” & “White Swan” limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. For more information about this artist and her work, visit Inuit Gallery of Vancouver,

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