A timing blunder! Neil deGrasse Tyson apologizes for his data-revealing tweet after the twin USA weekend mass shootings!
- Neil deGrasse Tyson did not know that his, innocent tweet on the weekend mass shootings in Ohio and Texas would have such a disastrous reaction.
- Nonetheless, on realizing it, he immediately apologized to social media users on it.
Neil deGrasse Tyson and his tweet on USA mass shootings
Scientist Neil was upset about learning about this weekend’s mass shootings in Ohio and Texas. In the public shootings, 29 people died and 59 were injured. He thought of this as, an opportunity to make the public aware of deaths due to preventable reasons.
Hence he tweeted:
“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,”
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
People were not thrilled with reading Neil’s tweet. They thought that he was, trying to belittle the lives of those who were killed in the shootings.
Journalist Andrew Baggarly wrote:
“Making a didactic if factually accurate point does not always equate to intelligent or productive discourse. And this was neither intelligent nor productive. Disappointed to read this from you.”
Science writer Shaena Montanari responded:
“Imagine tweeting this and thinking it adds anything to intelligent discourse,”
People did not like him downplaying his emotions in the name of intelligent data. One Twitter user queried him:
“Can you also please quantify how fear affects our society’s ability to function? Or the impact these deaths have on the family, friends and communities of the victims? Or how it can inspire more acts?”
Washington Post opinion writer Elizabeth Bruenig opined:
“I think motive, avoidability and culpability are all forms of data that have perfectly logical emotional ramifications,”
“You’d be angrier if somebody shot your kid than if your kid died of typhus, this is obvious and rational.”
More people slam Neil deGrasse Tyson
Another follower wrote:
“I know you’re trying to math people here, but this is tasteless and disrespectful. Lost all respect for you.”
Comedy writer Mike Drucker commented:
“I’m just gonna throw this out there – what if all of those were bad and preventing any of them is good?”
Netflix movie director Ted Geoghegan stated:
“My father died of a medical error earlier this year,”
“I’ve lost numerous friends to suicide. My family was torn asunder by a car accident… this is a terrible take. The president’s hateful rhetoric isn’t inspiring the flu to shoot people in the (expletive) face.”
Video game designer Jennifer Scheurle said:
“This is such a disappointing response,”
“You can care about mass shootings, the radicalization of young white men and gun violence while also caring about the other problems you mention. To be emotional about violent, preventable death is no sign of not caring about other issues.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson and his realization and apology
It dawned on Neil that he has made a blunder. It was not the right time to provide people with data on preventable deaths. He wrote on his Facebook this Monday:
“My intent was to offer objectively true information that might help shape conversations and reactions to preventable ways we die,”
“In advance what effect my Tweet could have on you. I am therefore thankful for the candor and depth of critical reactions shared in my Twitter feed. 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.”
Source: USA Today