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PBS HONORS NEIL DeGRASSE TYSON WITH 2008 "BE MORE" AWARD

ARLINGTON, VA, May 19, 2008 — PBS Chief Content Officer John Boland presented the fourth “Be More” Award to astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Dr. Tyson is the Executive Director of New York’s Hayden Planetarium and host of NOVA ScienceNow on PBS, a newsmagazine program that invites people to explore new developments in computer science, astronomy, engineering and medicine. The PBS “Be More” Award was created to recognize extraordinary individuals who inspire others to “Be More.” The presentation was made during the closing reception at PBS Showcase. The annual conference held this year from May 12-15 at the J.W. Marriott in Palm Desert, CA, brings together over 700 public broadcasting professionals from across the country to share programming, promotion, interactive and education plans for the coming year and participate in professional development and networking opportunities.

“Dr. Tyson makes science fun and interesting, helping our viewers explore the world around them. We are proud to have him in our PBS family. He is an extraordinary individual who truly inspires us all to ‘be more,’” Mr. Boland said.

In addition to his work at the Hayden Planetarium and as PBS host, Dr. Tyson is an accomplished author and public servant. He is a monthly essayist for Natural History magazine and has also authored eight books including Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution, the companion book to NOVA’s four-part miniseries ORIGINS, in which Dr. Tyson also serves as the on-camera host.

Dr. Tyson was appointed by President Bush in 2001 to serve on a 12-member commission that studied the future of the US aerospace industry and was appointed again in 2004, to serve on the “Moon, Mars, and Beyond” commission, a 9-member panel examining the implementation of the United States Space Exploration Policy. His most recent presidential appointment in 2006 was to the Advisory Council of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

A recipient of nine honorary doctorates and the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, Dr. Tyson holds a BA in Physics from Harvard University and a PhD in Astrophysics from Columbia University. Dr. Tyson was also recognized by the International Astronomical Union by their naming of asteroid “13123 Tyson.”

The “Be More” Award is based on PBS’ award-winning branding campaign, now in its fifth year, which illustrates how PBS invites all Americans to exploring new worlds and discovering new ideas through PBS television and online content. Previous recipients include Fred Rogers, Jim Lehrer and Bill Moyers.

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PBS, with its 355 member stations, offers all Americans – from every walk of life – the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each week, PBS reaches more than 73 million people and invites them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; hear diverse viewpoints; and take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs have been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and Web site, pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org Web sites on the Internet.

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CONTACT:
Jennifer Daddura; 703.739.5223, jedaddura@pbs.orgjedaddura@pbs.org

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