SXSW Interactive is normally geared toward techies and entrepreneurs, but programmers aren't ones to shy away from cold, hard science. In recognition of that fact — and also no doubt because he's an incredibly fun and engaging speaker — the conference has tapped astrophysicist (and UT alum) Neil deGrasse Tyson to deliver a keynote presentation at this year's event.
In addition to his performing ongoing work in astrophysics and cosmology, Tyson currently serves as the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium. He's also a well-known and talented science communicator, having authored 10 books (so far), including the New York Times bestseller Death by Black Hole.
About as close as you can get to a “rock star” scientist, Tyson is a prominent figure in pop culture at large as well; he's a regular guest on such programs as The Daily Show and The Colbert Report and hosts his popular podcast, StarTalk. His love of science and his ability to communicate that passion and knowledge to the average layperson is key to his popularity.
Tyson will speak at the convention on Saturday, March 8 — most likely about life, the universe and everything. Other featured keynote speakers for SXSW Interactive 2014 include Austin Kleon, Anne Wojcicki and Adam Savage.
The announcement about Tyson came on the heels of SXSW Film's releasing a portion of its programming lineup, including a sneak peek at FOX’s upcoming new series Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey, narrated by Tyson. Cosmos will be the one reboot you want in your life, as it is a revamped version of the classic educational series by beloved scientist Carl Sagan, who taught us all that if you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.