Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson (born October 5, 1958, New York City, New York) is an Astrophysics|astrophysicist and director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York, who was at the center of the controversy over Pluto's status as a planet. As host of the 2014 TV series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, Neil deGrasse Tyson is following in the footsteps of the late Carl Sagan, the renowned scientist who starred in Cosmos: A Personal Voyage (the classic 1980 program that powerfully influenced many people’s view of science and the universe).
In "The Apology Insufficiency", Dr. Tyson stands in a corridor at Caltech, laughing with Raj, where he is introduced to Sheldon. Sheldon quickly points out that Tyson was responsible for the demotion of Pluto as a planet, and that he liked Pluto, ergo he doesn't like him. Neil deGrasse Tyson defends himself, affirming that he did not demote Pluto but the International Astronomical Union voted as such. Sheldon doesn't concede to Tyson's rebuttal, and Tyson is stupefied by him. He then asks Raj if that is who Koothrappali was telling him about before.
Later, Dr. Tyson apologizes to Sheldon in the cafeteria for his role in the Pluto matter, though, an upset Sheldon tells him to shut up.
Many fans of Dr. Tyson's meme (pronounced "MEEM") expected him to use it after Sheldon told him to shut up. Sadly, though, Dr. Tyson did not use his internet meme catchphrase.
In "The Misinterpretation Agitation" Amy objects to Bernadette posing for photos in a sexy scientist magazine photo shoot since they wouldn't do the same for men. Bernadette gets mad at her and says that the world wouldn't want to see Neil deGrasse Tyson in hot pants stretched over a car he was washing.
- Both Neil deGrasse Tyson and Carl Sagan hosted versions of the science series Cosmos (TV series)|Cosmos. Sagan once filed a restraining order against Sheldon Cooper.
- Neil called Raj a nobody even though they obviously knew each other in "The Apology Insufficiency".