Tags: degrasse tyson | boudain | suicide | france

Neil deGrasse Tyson on Bourdain: 'Life Is Precious'

(CNN/"New Day")

By    |   Friday, 08 June 2018 09:37 AM

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, appearing on CNN to speak about NASA's search for life on Mars, found himself talking about the death of his friend Anthony Bourdain, after the host of the network's award-winning "Parts Unknown" was found dead of suicide in a French hotel.

"I think a lot about just the universe and our curiosity manifested within it," Tyson told "New Day" co-host Alisyn Camerota. 

"Here is NASA collectively searching for life on Mars. We note explicitly that life is something precious, and wherever you find it, you cherish and nurture it."

Bourdain hanged himself, CNN said in a statement early Friday. He was found dead in a hotel room in Strasbourg, France, where he had been working on an upcoming episode of his food-and-travel program.

"When we lose a life, particularly one that is lost tragically and not by natural causes, especially for me, but certainly for everyone, it hits that much more deeply," Tyson said Friday. "Because of so much effort that I know we spend in this search for life and universe, but at least we got to share this universe with him."

Bourdain had appeared on Tyson's television show several times.

"We talked about the science of food and the relationship between culture and what foods you would eat or have the likelihood of eating depending on where you are, what latitude you are on Earth, effects, what kind of foods you prefer, how much spice is in it, how much isn't," said Tyson.

"That's the nature of how we interact with our guests. They're hardly ever scientists as guests. So that gave us the opportunity to experience his life. He had quite a profile. Those who only knew him from the CNN show, you have to dig a little deeper and you find out what his origin story is, to use a super hero reference."

Tyson said his friend would have even been interested in discussing life on Mars, as "he would go there and find out what kind of foods it's eating."

The scientist then switched to discussing the recent findings of NASA, published in Science Magazine, revealing "that there's a whole cocktail of organic molecules. Molecules that contain carbon that are in one place at a concentration 100 times that of other places on Mars."

When there is a lake bed, or crater, where there was once standing water, "you can go in and see what got laid down there and then trapped and preserved."

The Curiosity Rover went into one of the rocks, drilled two inches in , and got pristine material that was left over, but it didn't discover tiny organisms, said Tyson.

"No, no, no, Martians, no," he said. " It's step by step. We convinced that there was once liquid on Mars. There's evidence of having once been meandering flood plains and lakes.

"Then we find organic elements, then we find organic molecules. This makes it that much more tantalizing that Mars once had life."

And if it's found there was life on Mars, "then perhaps the universe is teeming with life," said Tyson. "We are not alone in the universe."

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Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, appearing on CNN to speak about NASA's search for life on Mars, found himself talking about the death of his friend Anthony Bourdain.
degrasse tyson, boudain, suicide, france
Friday, 08 June 2018 09:37 AM
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