01/13/2014 12:27 pm ET Updated Mar 15, 2014

Watch: Neil deGrasse Tyson on the New 'Cosmos'

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This week on Moyers & Company, a new half-hour format with nothing short of the universe itself.

In a multi-part series with famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, we explore a variety of topics, including the nature of an expanding, accelerating universe (and how it might end), the difference between "dark energy" and "dark matter," the concept of God in cosmology and why science matters.

"Science is an enterprise that should be cherished as an activity of the free human mind," Dr. Tyson tells us. "Because it transforms who we are, how we live, and it gives us an understanding of our place in the universe."

Starting in March, Dr. Tyson, Frederic P. Rose director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, will host a new, updated version of the hit PBS television series Cosmos, which made the late Carl Sagan a household name. This time the new series, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, comes courtesy of the National Geographic Channel and Fox TV.

Dr. Tyson is perhaps the best-known scientist in America today, a stalwart defender of science literacy as a kind of vaccine against charlatans who would try to exploit ignorance -- and clearly the rightful heir to Carl Sagan's curiosity and charisma. The Hayden Planetarium that he heads is the very place where, as a nine-year-old kid from the Bronx, Tyson first felt the universe calling him to become a scientist in thrall to the night sky.

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