Neil deGrasse Tyson, the nerd we’d all like to be one day, continues his uncontested run as the best human being on earth. At a recent talk, an 8-year-old girl named Lois asked him whether she could be an astrophysicist even though she had dyslexia and Tyson dropped some inspirational knowledge about success and disability.

Tyson tells Lois that, yes, people in his field absolutely struggle with dyslexia, and that they also struggle with ADD, dyscalculia and autism. He even tells her that it’s not just people now who live with these issues but that many important historical figures who have contributed a great deal to the STEM fields may have struggled with these issues, too.

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The best part isn’t that Lois learns that she can do anything she wants to, but Tyson also gives her some valuable practical advice to get where she wants to go. According to him, people who struggle with math or reading don’t give up, they compensate for the issues they might face. So someone who has a harder time reading will allocate more time to that particular activity to make sure that they get it all done. That’s some important information and a fact that can often be overlooked when encouraging kids to follow their dreams (even if their dream is to be a dinosaur/mermaid hybrid like mine was). Let’s hope Lois blows the world away with her own contributions to science in the near future. Have we figued out cold fusion yet? If not, Lois might want to get right on that.


Contact the author at mark.shrayber@jezebel.com.

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