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Obama's introduction to Neil deGrasse Tyson's 'Cosmos' courts controversy

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According to a March 8, 2014 story in the Los Angeles Times, President Barack Obama will give a special introduction to the reboot of the science series “Cosmos” which will be hosted by celebrity astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

“The president's introduction ‘invites a new generation to embrace the spirit of discovery and inspires viewers to explore new frontiers and imagine limitless possibilities for the future,’ according to a statement issued by Fox.”

The presence of the president, whose approval rating is down to 38 percent according to one recent poll, is likely to stir controversy. While President Obama has attempted to wrap his administration in the mantle of science, he has been criticized by some in the media on the charge that his actions have fallen short of his rhetoric.

Investor’s Business Daily, for example, criticized the president’s embrace of the theory of climate change and his claim that it is “settled science,” something that has been disputed by a number of climate scientists. Obama even went so far as to claim that the recent drought in California is a result of human caused climate change, even though droughts have occurred periodically over a century and a half of record keeping.

Florida Today criticized the president’s cuts in NASA’s budget, which it maintains short changes science and space exploration.

“For all of President Obama’s talk of investing in science and technology, his administration has shortchanged at least one critical area: the study of space and planets. This is a huge loss because these types of missions have generated remarkable results and have a significant gee-whiz factor that helps attract young people into careers in science and engineering.”

Thus the president’s introduction to a TV series that promotes science and the wonders of the universe is likely to be jarring to people who are aware of his record in those areas.

Mark R, Whittington is the author of Children of Apollo, The Last Moonwalker and Other Stories, Dreams of Barry's Stepfather, and The Man from Mars: The Asteroid Mining Caper

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