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Reaction to Tyson Probe: It's 'the Way the World Works'

The astrophysicist won't be losing his job
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2019 4:30 PM CDT
In this Nov. 1, 2017 file photo, Neil deGrasse Tyson attends a fan event celebrating the release Kelly Clarkson's album "Meaning of Life" at YouTube Space New York in New York.   (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) – Neil deGrasse Tyson will be keeping his job at the American Museum of Natural History after all, the New York Times reports. A probe by the institution into Tyson's alleged sexual misconduct, including a rape accusation, apparently didn't find enough to dethrone him as head of the museum's Hayden Planetarium. "Because this is a confidential personnel matter, there will be no further statements by the museum," says a museum spokeswoman. Two women had accused Tyson of inappropriate behavior on the website Patheos—one an associate physics professor, the other his former assistant—and a third woman had accused Tyson of raping her in 1984 when they studied at the University of Texas, Austin.

The associate prof, Katelyn Allers, says a company hired by the museum interviewed her for a few hours and reached out to witnesses she offered. Is she surprised by the outcome? "This kind of the way the world works," she says. Tchiya Amet el Maat, who accused Tyson of raping her, is disgusted: "If Neil deGrasse Tyson had raped a white woman, he would not be on TV anymore, and this woman would have received a settlement," says Amet, who is black. Earlier investigations by National Geographic and Fox, which air his shows Cosmos and StarTalk, also gave him a pass, Vox reported in March. Tyson wrote a lengthy Facebook post denying the rape and recalling the other encounters as non-aggressive. (An accuser of President Trump says she hasn't been with a man since the alleged assault.)

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