Famous scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson apologized Monday morning for an “unhelpful” and “miscalculated” tweet.
29 people were killed and dozens more were wounded over the weekend in shootings in both Texas and Ohio. The shooting in El Paso, Texas, took place in a local Walmart and was carried out by a far-right extremist with anti-Hispanic viewpoints. (RELATED: Trump Proposes ‘Strong Background Checks … Desperately Needed Immigration Reform’ In Wake Of Mass Shootings)
Tyson tweeted Sunday following both massacres and said that people often let their “emotions” cloud their perceptions of shootings like the ones that took place over the weekend.
In the past 48hrs, the USA horrifically lost 34 people to mass shootings.
On average, across any 48hrs, we also lose…
500 to Medical errors
300 to the Flu
250 to Suicide
200 to Car Accidents
40 to Homicide via Handgun
Often our emotions respond more to spectacle than to data.
— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) August 4, 2019
Tyson denounced his prior assertions, saying, “My tweet in particular — can be true but unhelpful, especially at a time when many people are either still in shock, or trying to heal — or both.” He continued, “So if you are one of those people, I apologize for not knowing in advance what effect my Tweet could have on you.”
“As an educator, I personally value knowing with precision and accuracy what reaction anything that I say (or write) will instill in my audience, and I got this one wrong,” Tyson added.
The tweet began to instantly trend on Twitter and many had some unfriendly criticism for the scientist.
This is an inaccurate and frankly insensitive communication:
1. Numerous problems with extrapolation of these numbers as @drjudymelinek (forensic pathologist) will tell you.
2. We have invested in funding research & quality programs to prevent medical errors. https://t.co/A1gnCtiZHM
— Joseph Sakran (@JosephSakran) August 5, 2019
False equivalence through raw data. Don’t have to be a social scientist to differentiate between acts of terrorism and natural/accidental death. https://t.co/DPcUpPdFvC
— Herêm Kerîm (@HaremKarem) August 5, 2019
You’re cancelled. https://t.co/g91XGcWPuD
— Britt Marie Hermes (@NaturoDiaries) August 5, 2019
Not everyone was critical of Tyson’s tweet; some showed support for his conclusions.
Many liberals now furious about this tweet. They only want to hear from scientists when it fits the narrative. https://t.co/OiAIzF8A9I
— MARK SIMONE (@MarkSimoneNY) August 5, 2019
When a astrophysicist talks you listen. Good points here. You won’t see anywhere else. https://t.co/LrsmLblShY
— Sal LaBarbera (@Sal_LaBarbera) August 5, 2019
Tyson has not taken down the original tweet despite issuing a full apology.