The second season of National Geographic Channel’s Emmy-nominated series “StarTalk” hosted by Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson will premiere Sunday, Oct. 25, at 11/10c. President Bill Clinton will be the first guest of the new season, and additional guests include Larry Wilmore, Penn and Teller, Seth MacFarlane, David Byrne, Susan Sarandon, Bas Lansdorp, David Crosby, Brian Cox and Gina McCarthy.
“I couldn’t think of a more appropriate guest to kick off our second season,” said Tyson. “President Bill Clinton is a public figure whose impact and influence span politics, pop culture and science — with an occasional dose of humor. That’s exactly the mission statement of StarTalk, and I look forward to sharing our conversation with viewers.”
In the season premiere, President Clinton opens up on a variety of topics, including the importance of a shared appreciation for science, using the cosmos to solve problems in the Oval Office, artificial intelligence and even the demotion of Pluto.
“It’s okay if you can’t break down and draw the chemistry signs; it’s okay if you can’t do the math equations,” said President Clinton. “You need to … be able to have a feeling for what science, and the technology that supports it, can do to open horizons. Not just in medicine, but the horizons of the mind.”
Based on Tyson’s prominent podcast of the same name, the weekly hour-long series infuses pop culture with science, while bringing together comedians and celebrities to delve into a wide range of topics. Each week, in a private interview, Tyson explores all the ways that science and technology have influenced the life and livelihood of his guests, whatever their background.
The guest interview frames the conversation between Tyson, his comedian co-host, Chuck Nice, and various influencers in media, science and pop culture, held before a studio audience in the Cullman Hall of the Universe at the American Museum of Natural History’s (AMNH’s) Rose Center for Earth and Space in New York City — where Tyson serves as the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium. Throughout the season, Tyson calls on his friend Bill Nye the Science Guy to weigh in on the week’s theme while influencers across pop culture and science join via live video call to share their perspective.
Premiere episodes include:
Premieres Sun., Oct. 25, 11/10c
In the season premiere, Neil deGrasse Tyson sits down with former President Bill Clinton, who was a strong advocate of science education and advancement during his two presidential terms. President Clinton opens up about his deep appreciation for science as he delves into topics including the importance of science in politics, the cosmic perspective, the Human Genome Project and Einstein. At the Cullman Hall of the Universe, Tyson continues the conversation with his comedian co-host Chuck Nice and genomics expert Juan Enriquez. Meanwhile, Bill Nye gives his take on advancing scientific progress in America, author Richard Muller joins via video call to talk about the influence of science on politics and Tyson answers fan questions about artificial intelligence.
Premieres Sun., Nov. 1, 11/10c
Emmy award-winning producer, actor, comedian and writer Larry Wilmore joins Tyson in the hot seat as the two delve into the intersection of science and comedy. At the Cullman Hall of the Universe, Tyson is joined by his co-hosts: comedian Chuck Nice and Scott Weems, author of “Ha! The Science of When We Laugh and Why.” The three discuss the physiology of laughter, the mathematics of crafting jokes and the link between humor and creativity. Adding to the discussion, author Andy Weir patches into the studio to discuss the comedy in his book “The Martian” and Bill Nye presents an improv performance to demonstrate that science can, in fact, be funny.
Premieres Sun., Nov. 8, 11:30e/10:30c/11p*
*Special East Coast and Central times; Pacific Coast will air at regularly scheduled time
Neil deGrasse Tyson joins Seth MacFarlane, creator of “Family Guy” and fellow executive producer of “Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey”, to discuss the role science plays in his work and personal life. In a private interview, the two take on myriad topics, including social issues in cartoons, the science of “Family Guy” and the science fiction parodies that abound in the series. Tyson is joined in the Cullman Hall of the Universe by comedian co-host Chuck Nice and astrophysicist and AMNH research associate Charles Liu, and later Bill Nye gives his take on cartoons and animation.
Premieres continue through Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016.