Neil deGrasse Tyson is a groundbreaking astrophysicist, popular television presenter and well-known internet personality.
He has also been charged by three women for sexual misconduct, reports David G. McAfee in Patheos, a website home to a multitude of women's blogs on religion, spirituality and atheism.
A woman, Tchiya Amet, says Tyson drugged and raped her when the two students at the University of Texas were in Austin. Another, Ashley Watson, says he made unwanted progress when she was his assistant, causing her to give up her job. A third, Katelyn Allers, says she was "wiped out" at a Tyson party in 2009.
Tyson did not respond to inquiries from McAfee or Vox. Allers said in an email to Vox that McAfee's description of her meeting with Tyson was correct, but refused another interview.
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McAfee told Vox he first learned of the allegations against Tyson in 2017 and decided to investigate because he was a fan of Tyson. He wrote about Amet's allegations about Patheos in 2017 and published an interview with her in November. McAfee said Watson and Allers had contacted him after reading this interview.
The allegations were temporarily not given the typical attention typical of such # MeToo-time stories, perhaps because they were first published by Patheos is not known for breaking news. But the claims of Amet, Watson and Allers are serious and come at a time when the scientific community is beginning to reckon with the problem of sexual misconduct.
Three women have indicted Tyson for sexual misconduct by the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the New York's American Museum of Natural History, the first Negro to hold the role. The author of several popular science books and the presenter of Science TV Broadcasts NOVA ScienceNow and Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey as well as the podcast StarTalk, which he received for his acknowledgment is also a prolific Twitter user who was both celebrated and mocked for his tweets.
According to the three women who have spoken, he plays an important role in making science public with the Public Welfare Medal of the National Academy of Sciences. McAfee also owes sexual misconduct. Amet told McAfee that she was visiting Tyson's apartment when the two of them were doctoral students in 1984. He gave her a glass of water. The next thing she remembers is waking up to a sexual assault, she said. Amet has repeatedly spoken and written publicly about her allegations in recent years. He confronted Tyson at a public event in 2010 and blogged about the allegations in 2014.
McAfee acknowledged that Amet, who was leaving at the time, acknowledged the University records of Staci Hambric and Tyson were at the same time attending graduate school at the University of Texas, Austin.
Vox has not talked to Amet yet.
Allers, professor of physics and astronomy at Bucknell University, told McAfee that she had met Tyson after a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in 2009 with him posing for a picture. But then she said that he had noticed her big tattoo of the solar system. Tyson "somehow grabbed me to look at it and was really obsessed with whether or not I had Pluto on that tattoo," she told McAfee. "And then he looked for Pluto and followed the tattoo in my dress."
She does not consider the encounter an attack, but she told McAfee that Tyson "is not someone who has great respect for the female body." Autonomy. "
Michele Thornley, Associate Professor at Bucknell, told McAfee that Allers had told her about her meeting with Tyson in 2013, when Tyson was to speak in Bucknell. Allers asked to be excused from a dinner with Tyson after the event. Thornley said that she had told the organizer of the event that Allers did not want to be present at dinner, and also "made some general recommendations to avoid students in small groups meeting with him without additional members of the community present . "
I can confirm that the contents of the Patheos article on my encounter with Tyson is correct, "Allers wrote in an email to Vox. "I hope that the allegations against Dr. Tyson (especially those of Tchiya and Ashley, whose lives and careers have been so heavily influenced) are taken seriously."
Ashley Watson worked as an assistant to Tyson at Cosmos between March and June 2018, according to LinkedIn. She told McAfee that he had invited her into his apartment to "share a bottle of wine," and she agreed to visit her because she felt pressured to impress her boss. When she arrived, she said, Tyson played romantic music and talked about how everyone needed "publications" in life, including physical layoffs.
Watson told McAfee when she got up to leave, he stopped her and offered to show her a show called "Indian Handshake," she said, holding her hands and making eye contact. Watson then put his hands on her shoulders and said he wanted to hug her, but if he wanted, he would "just want more."
The following day, Watson said she confronted Tyson with his behavior; He told her that she would never make a career because she was too "distracting". She said that after the meeting, she decided to give up her job as Tyson's assistant, and told a supervisor in the hope that her employer would not hire any more female assistants for Tyson. The supervisor supported her decision to quit, she told McAfee and advised her to claim a family emergency in order to avoid "uncomfortable situations". It was scheduled to host a new season of Cosmos a year In 2019, they announced they were investigating the allegations. The series was first aired in 2014 on PBS.
"We have just recently heard the recent allegations regarding Neil deGrasse Tyson. We take these issues very seriously and review recent reports, "said Fox and National Geographic in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter.
" The credo at the heart of COSMOS is to follow the evidence of where it leads, "he said The producers of the show said in their own separate statement to the Hollywood Reporter, "The manufacturers of COSMOS can not do less in this situation, and we commit ourselves to a thorough investigation of this matter and to act accordingly once it is finalized." [19659023AuthorandjournalistMcAfeesaidhehaddecidedtofollowthestoryin2017afterseeingTyson'snameinalistofcelebrity-accusedcelebritiesofsexualmisconductanddecidedtoinvestigatebecausehewas"abigfan"ofTysonhesaidremembers:"IthastobetackledinonewayoranotherifIcanexposeitisthatgreatIfnotthatmustbeoutthere
McAfee has authored several books on atheism, including Mom, Dad, I'm Atheist: The Guide to the Unbeliever ; Tyson has since made a series of public statements about his skepticism about religion, saying that the label that best describes him is agnostic.
The allegations come at a time when the scientific community and science are more widely speaking of sexual misconduct. Brian Richmond, curator of the American Museum of Natural History of Human Origin, resigned in 2016 after allegations of sexual harassment and harassment – which he denied – were made public. In 2017, a former anthropology professor conducted an anonymous survey on sexual harassment in the academic world and collected more than 1,000 responses. And in a survey of students at the University of Oregon in 2016, 38 percent of students and 23 percent of male students said they had been sexually molested by faculty or staff.
McAfee published his coverage of the allegations against Tyson on Patheos for having a blog there and no relationship with another store that could publish the story, he said. His blog, which deals with science, skepticism and faith, is called No Sacred Cows.
"It's ironic that I ended up one of my greatest idols," he told Vox.