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Thread: Neil DeGrasse Tyson accused of sexual misconduct (and rape)

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    Neil DeGrasse Tyson accused of sexual misconduct (and rape)

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/01/a...isconduct.html

    In a lengthy Facebook post on Saturday, the well-known astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson disputed accounts that he had behaved inappropriately with three women, a day after the broadcasters of his show “Cosmos” said they were investigating his conduct.

    “Accusations can damage a reputation and a marriage,” he wrote. “Sometimes irreversibly. I see myself as loving husband and as a public servant — a scientist and educator who serves at the will of the public.”

    On Friday, Fox Broadcasting and National Geographic, which air the popular science program “Cosmos,” said they would investigate the allegations, which were first reported on the website Patheos. On Saturday, the American Museum of Natural History in New York, where Dr. Tyson directs the Hayden Planetarium, said it was looking into the accusations as well.
    Wasn't sure where to put this.
    Do human beings have free will? I can't decide.

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    Elder Contributor Underseer's Avatar
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    The allegations originally surfaced some time ago. There might even be another thread on this topic.

    This video was from September and discusses a reporter talking to one of the accusers much earlier than that.


    (View video on YouTube)

    I think T1J summed the whole thing up pretty well, except that I'm not as able as he is to separate the art from the artist. If it's something particularly egregious or I don't have confidence that the person actually changed, then I can't enjoy that person's art without thinking about whatever the awful thing is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GenesisNemesis View Post
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/01/a...isconduct.html

    In a lengthy Facebook post on Saturday, the well-known astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson disputed accounts that he had behaved inappropriately with three women, a day after the broadcasters of his show “Cosmos” said they were investigating his conduct.

    “Accusations can damage a reputation and a marriage,” he wrote. “Sometimes irreversibly. I see myself as loving husband and as a public servant — a scientist and educator who serves at the will of the public.”

    On Friday, Fox Broadcasting and National Geographic, which air the popular science program “Cosmos,” said they would investigate the allegations, which were first reported on the website Patheos. On Saturday, the American Museum of Natural History in New York, where Dr. Tyson directs the Hayden Planetarium, said it was looking into the accusations as well.
    Wasn't sure where to put this.
    That's very sad and shocking. He's absolutely one of the most eloquent and charismatic speakers for science in the world. If true, we're going to lose one of our most powerful advocates fighting end the world war on science.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Bosch View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by GenesisNemesis View Post
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/01/a...isconduct.html

    In a lengthy Facebook post on Saturday, the well-known astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson disputed accounts that he had behaved inappropriately with three women, a day after the broadcasters of his show “Cosmos” said they were investigating his conduct.

    “Accusations can damage a reputation and a marriage,” he wrote. “Sometimes irreversibly. I see myself as loving husband and as a public servant — a scientist and educator who serves at the will of the public.”

    On Friday, Fox Broadcasting and National Geographic, which air the popular science program “Cosmos,” said they would investigate the allegations, which were first reported on the website Patheos. On Saturday, the American Museum of Natural History in New York, where Dr. Tyson directs the Hayden Planetarium, said it was looking into the accusations as well.
    Wasn't sure where to put this.
    That's very sad and shocking. He's absolutely one of the most eloquent and charismatic speakers for science in the world. If true, we're going to lose one of our most powerful advocates fighting end the world war on science.
    Sad, yes.

    Shocking, never.

    Eloquent, definitely.

    Charismatic, absolutely.

    Going to lose, I think not. People can compartmentalize, or separate the art from the artist. I don’t wallow in the filth of people’s personal demons once the skeletons in their closets have been put on full display for the world to see. Lethal Weapon is still my favorite movie no matter what Mel Gibson may have done. I can still laugh at a Cosby joke. I can still admire Neil Tyson. Even you seem to have said some positive things about him. That doesn’t go away, and neither do the positive traits of serial killers.

    I’ve seen the bad side of people, and when they put on their show to those not in the know, it’s only their lack of knowledge that keeps applause from being boos, yet some of us can still see the good that glows, no matter how darkened bad deeds overshadow them in the eyes of others.

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    Veteran Member Axulus's Avatar
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    My take on this:

    What was described in the two most recent incidents doesn't strike me to the level as needing to be made public or something that should derail his career. The 2009 incident sounds like a violation of personal space rather than any kind of sexual misconduct. NGT seems overly enthusiastic and friendly and he may inadvertently cross personal boundaries in his enthusiasm, kind of a personality thing that he needs to work on. The appropriate way to handle it is to tell him how you felt, why go public with it?

    The second one seems to barely even reach the level of sexual harassment. If all of what happened is fully true, it is inappropriate, but at no point did he say anything demeaning to the woman (during the encounter) or demand sexual favors, or touch her inappropriately (the handshake thing, really?). This should also have remained an internal affair and dealt with by the production company, why does this need to be public?

    Finally, the drugged rape accusation, while horrific if true, doesn't have any collaborating evidence. It is also old news, something that has been public for over eight years now and apparently not deemed credible enough as the accusation didn't really get any attention. It happened so long ago that NGT does not have any opportunity to present any kind of defense.

    The comment thread here also seems to poke holes in her story. The symptoms she describes would not have happened with the drugs available in 1984 without being easily detectable from just one sip of the water she alleges was given to her:

    https://www.patheos.com/blogs/nosacr...#disqus_thread
    Last edited by Axulus; 12-03-2018 at 03:29 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Bosch View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by GenesisNemesis View Post
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/01/a...isconduct.html

    In a lengthy Facebook post on Saturday, the well-known astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson disputed accounts that he had behaved inappropriately with three women, a day after the broadcasters of his show “Cosmos” said they were investigating his conduct.

    “Accusations can damage a reputation and a marriage,” he wrote. “Sometimes irreversibly. I see myself as loving husband and as a public servant — a scientist and educator who serves at the will of the public.”

    On Friday, Fox Broadcasting and National Geographic, which air the popular science program “Cosmos,” said they would investigate the allegations, which were first reported on the website Patheos. On Saturday, the American Museum of Natural History in New York, where Dr. Tyson directs the Hayden Planetarium, said it was looking into the accusations as well.
    Wasn't sure where to put this.
    That's very sad and shocking. He's absolutely one of the most eloquent and charismatic speakers for science in the world. If true, we're going to lose one of our most powerful advocates fighting end the world war on science.
    I love deGrasse Tyson and his past work, but he has since inspired a new generation of science popularizers. Maybe none of the new ones are as prominent nor as charismatic as he, but there are more of them. If Tyson's career goes away tomorrow, the job he was doing would be carried on by others.

    If the allegations prove to be true and if he doesn't adequately atone for what he did, then part of me will shed a tear, and the other part of me would look forward to seeing what Brian Cox or one of the others would do with season 2 of Cosmos.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Axulus View Post
    My take on this:

    What was described in the two most recent incidents doesn't strike me to the level as needing to be made public or something that should derail his career. The 2009 incident sounds like a violation of personal space rather than any kind of sexual misconduct. NGT seems overly enthusiastic and friendly and he may inadvertently cross personal boundaries in his enthusiasm, kind of a personality thing that he needs to work on. The appropriate way to handle it is to tell him how you felt, why go public with it?

    The second one seems to barely even reach the level of sexual harassment. If all of what happened is fully true, it is inappropriate, but at no point did he say anything demeaning to the woman (during the encounter) or demand sexual favors, or touch her inappropriately (the handshake thing, really?). This should also have remained an internal affair and dealt with by the production company, why does this need to be public?

    Finally, the drugged rape accusation, while horrific if true, doesn't have any collaborating evidence. It is also old news, something that has been public for over eight years now and apparently not deemed credible enough as the accusation didn't really get any attention. It happened so long ago that NGT does not have any opportunity to present any kind of defense.

    The comment thread here also seems to poke holes in her story. The symptoms she describes would not have happened with the drugs available in 1984 without being easily detectable from just one sip of the water she alleges was given to her:

    https://www.patheos.com/blogs/nosacr...#disqus_thread
    These things often don't have corroborating evidence. That's why most powerful men are able to get away with these things even when they're guilty.

    As many in the #MeToo movement have pointed out, our society has a nasty habit of simply assuming that all such accusers in these cases are lying. We need to resist that urge that comes from society's influence on us and wait for the facts to come in. As T1J points out, basic human decency demands that we at least show some modicum of empathy for the accusers instead of immediately dismissing them and their claims. We don't have to conclude that they are 100% right, but at least we can have enough decency to not automatically assume that they are definitely 100% wrong right off the bat.

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    I stand with Neil.

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    Neil de Grasse Tyson, the rapist

    https://gizmodo.com/neil-degrasse-ty...l-m-1830805358

    So Neil de Grasse Tyson has been accused of sexual misconduct. What's interesting about it is the stuff he's been accused of. Since when is being creepy anything to get upset about? If men makes a move on a girl and she's completely uninterested, they will come across as creepy. It's going to happen to us all at some point. It's fine. It has to be fine and socially acceptable. But in this case, he was deemed creepy even without making a move.

    So here's what he's accused of.

    1. Woman wants a selfie of him. She has our solar system tattooed on her arm vanishing in under her dress sleeve towards her shoulder. Neil deGrasse Tyson lifts the sleeve takes a peak if Pluto is there. Since when has touching a woman's arm become taboo? Arms and especially hands are always ok, aren't they? Assuming it's done gently and we haven't been told to stop. Also... she approached him. She had signalled she wanted some sort of physical contact with him. Yet, got offended enough to make a thing of it.

    2. He invites an assistant over after they're done shooting for wine and cheese. They've worked a lot together and it was a farewell thing. She found it creepy, even though he did nothing inappropriate. To me it sounds completely normal and the decent thing to do. I've had many assistants in my life and when we're done taken them out for a drink. It's typically how mentoring works.

    BTW, I've spoken to many older male leaders of industry and when #MeToo happened they all immediately stopped mentoring young women. This is still the situation, as far as I know. Because just being alone in a room with a young women makes us targets for whatever accusation might pop up in the mind of them. And we know it'll instantly be accepted as truth.

    3. A woman he was dating when he was young accuses him of drugging her and raping her while unconscious all based on that she didn't remember what had happened the night earlier.

    So these are all clearly nonsense. Yet, a big deal made of them.

    Can #MeToo just go away now? I hope we can all agree that at this point it's doing more bad than good? Does anybody still think the current situation was worth it?

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    I read about this yesterday in two major newspapers. As a woman, I'm beginning to think that some women are awfully fragile, when it comes to male behavior. Maybe it's just that women my age have dealt with much crazier behavior from men, so it's hard for us to get upset over something like what happed between Neil and the two women that said he was acting creepy. He's already apologized to the two women that felt he was "creepy".

    If the rape charge is true, that would be terrible, but it happened over thirty years ago and there is not any evidence to support the claim of the woman. She didn't report it until 2014. He says they dated for a brief period of time, while she says that wasn't the case. It does sound out of character for someone who comes across as a man of high character and integrity, but we've been fooled before, so I suppose anything is possible. Unless other women come forward, I'm going to side with Neil.

    While it's unfortunate that so many women who are sexually assaulted aren't believed, there is a small percentage of women who make up or perhaps have convinced themselves that they were raped, perhaps out of regret for having sex with a particular man. I honestly don't know because it's never occurred to me to make a false claim against a man. Let's just hope that Neil is the one being truthful in this case.

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