In a lengthy Facebook post Saturday, well-known astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson disputed accounts that he had behaved inappropriately with three women, a day after the broadcasters of his show ‘Cosmos’ said they were investigating his conduct.
“Accusations can damage a reputation and a marriage,” he wrote. “Sometimes irreversibly. I see myself as loving husband and as a public servant — a scientist and educator who serves at the will of the public.”
On Friday, Fox Broadcasting and National Geographic, which air the popular science program ‘Cosmos,’ said they would investigate the allegations, which were first reported on the website Patheos. On Saturday, the American Museum of Natural History in New York, where Tyson directs the Hayden Planetarium, said it was looking into the accusations as well.
Tyson, 60, remains in his positions with the show and the planetarium. But the women’s accounts show how more than a year after the #MeToo movement swept into the public consciousness, accusations continue to emerge about the behaviour of powerful and high-profile men.
The prolific Tyson is something of a rarity in the sciences: a star, familiar to those with no connection to his field. Essentially the public face of the natural history museum, and perhaps astronomy itself, he has been lauded for his skill in explaining scientific concepts in digestible terms.
In his nearly 1,600-word Facebook post, Tyson addressed each accusation, describing two as benign gestures and suggesting that the third had not occurred.
Anne Canty, a spokeswoman for the Museum of Natural History, said Saturday that the museum was “reviewing” the recent allegations. “The museum is not aware of any other allegations and has received no complaints,” she said.
Fox and National Geographic said in a statement that they had “only just become aware of the recent allegations regarding Neil deGrasse Tyson.”
“We take these matters very seriously and we are reviewing the recent reports,” they said.
The third season of ‘Cosmos’ with Tyson as host, a revival of the 1980 Carl Sagan series, is scheduled to air beginning next spring.