Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist, author and advocate of science literacy. He is currently the Frederick P. Rose director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space, and a research associate in the Department of Astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
From 2006 to 2011, Tyson hosted the educational science television show NOVA ScienceNow on PBS, and he has been a frequent guest on other TV shows, including The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and Real Time with Bill Maher. Since 2009, he has hosted the weekly radio show StarTalk.
In 2014, Tyson began hosting a TV science documentary series, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, an update of late astrophysicist Carl Sagan’s Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, a 1980s television series.
Tyson has also appeared on television episodes of sitcom The Big Bang Theory and sci-fi series Stargate Atlantis.
Shonda Rhimes is a screenwriter, director, and producer, who is best known as creator, head writer, and executive producer of the medical drama television series Grey’s Anatomy, its spin-off Private Practice, and the political thriller series, Scandal.
In May 2007, the popular Hollywood writer was named one of Time magazine’s 100 people who help shape the world. Rhimes has a new legal series on ABC, How to Get Away with Murder, which will air in the 2014-15 season.
Rhimes, who describes her self as a “nerd” says one of her favorite activities is to watch the Scripps National Spelling Bee and to “nerd out” while blogging about the competition.
“I’ve been watching the bee forever. Way back, when it was first on ESPN is when I first started watching. I’ve been watching forever. I’m a nerd that way, but I was very into it and a bee nerd in school,” she said.
Rhimes attended Dartmouth College, where she earned a bachelor’s degree, and the University of Southern California where she received a Master of Fine Arts from the School of Cinema-Television.
Donald Glover is an actor, comedian, rapper, writer and proud Black nerd, who first became popular for his work with the Internet comedy sketch group, Derrick Comedy.
From 2006 to 2009, he was a writer for the NBC comedy series 30 Rock. He was also cast in the role of Troy Barnes in the television series Community, and in 2010, he starred in a stand-up special on Comedy Central network.
Glover released his debut album as a hip-hop artist the next year, followed by a second release in 2013. The young star graduated from New York University with a degree in dramatic writing.
Melissa Harris-Perry is a professor at Tulane University, television host and political commentator with a focus on African-American politics. Harris-Perry hosts a weekend news and opinion television show on MSNBC.
Before working for MSNBC, she taught at Princeton University and the University of Chicago. Harris-Perry is also a regular columnist for the magazine The Nation, the author of Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America, and founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Project on Gender, Race, and Politics in the South.
Harris-Perry attended Wake Forest University where she received a bachelor’s degree in English, and Duke University where she earned a doctorate in political science.