Infographic: wisdom from Neil Degrasse Tyson (this generation’s Carl Sagan)

Top quotes and takeaways from astrophysicist Neil Degrasse Tyson’s Cannes Lions 2014 talk.

Infographic created by Ogilvy – check out more at


    Is the typo on ‘erratic’ deliberate, humourous or ironic?

    • Bex Tindle

      Given the value of the content of the article and the number of words typed… I can’t help but feel this is a little pedantic… You’re not in marketing of some sort are you Ray? 😉

  • Dave Trott

    Well spotted Ray.
    I went to art school not uni, so it’s a genuine mistake.
    I decided to leave it because (like Marshal MacLuhan: ‘The Medium is The Massage’) I think it’s actually better that way.

    • Bex Tindle

      Nice article Dave. Some very salient points for me personally. I’m a UX bod and for now specialise in research and the point you make about what people say they think and/or do and how they actually behave are not necessarily the same. As such we have to be very careful about the research methods we use e.g. contextual research such as diary studies or observation within the context of use to find out what people actually do rather than what they say they do, we have to be sure we ask the right questions e.g. not “In X situation what do you think you would do?”, and we need to get data from as many sources as possible to ensure we have as much of the complete picture as possible e.g. contextual research + current consumer trends + data on actual use such as web analytics data. I’ve just completed a contract in a team where personal and expert opinion as well as innovation often rules over understanding & satisfying customers’ needs – as you say the characteristics & behaviour of a target audience are usually very different from that of the team developing the product or service. Your article’s a nice reminder of things that are easy to forget – a reality check.

    • sidwheeler

      What kind of data are you talking about though, Dave?

      The kind of self-reporting that you find in focus groups is
      largely nonsense, I agree.

      Perhaps it is better to say that the world conforms to
      trends, and to find the idiosyncrasies within those trends we must be more
      demanding of the data – eschewing self-reporting for non-intrusive observation.

      I don’t think it’s enormously surprising to find that some
      people who own DVD’s don’t watch them.

      After all, there is plenty more going on in the ownership of
      it than something you might watch. We get the pleasure of the purchase, the
      knowledge that we have the option of accessibility and perhaps a bit of kudos
      in displaying on our shelves.

      Perhaps you don’t watch it because you know through
      ownership you can watch it tomorrow… and tomorrow… and tomorrow. But you never
      do. They call it immediacy bias – as you probably know. But when someone takes
      the decision to put it on for you – you’ll watch it.

      Personally it’s one reason why I don’t believe TV as we know
      it will be quick to die out – there are enough decisions to make without coming
      home and curating your own TV channel.

      The similarities between your and your art director’s
      behaviour hardly justifies a uniform conclusion for DVD owners. 
      If you are
      going to extrapolate that out, for example, to kids who would probably wear out a DVD as well as watching it on TV, then you risk subjectively manipulating the ‘data’ in
      exactly the same way as a focus group. 

  • Rachel Garrett

    Great article, totally agree with you Dave and Bex, we find a mix of methodologies done overtime gives you the best insight about your consumers. We’ve actually just started a campaign to ban focus groups and encourage real behaviour in research, check out this short video we’ve made if you’re interested