Famous American astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson may not make the pop culture zines often, but his name is certainly all over the place today.

First off is his appearance in a new PETA ad (below) encouraging people to feel empathy for all of Earth's creatures. The spot features Dr.Tyson, 52, with the words: "You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that kindness is a virtue."

In an interview with PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk, Dr. Tyson says that humans should start learning to respect other creatures from an early age. "Humans aren't as good as we should be in our capacity to empathize with feelings and thoughts of others, be they humans or other animals on Earth," he says. "So maybe part of our formal education should be training in empathy. Imagine how different the world would be if, in fact, that were 'reading, writing, arithmetic, empathy.'"

This news was immediately followed by the announcement that Dr. Tyson will host a new follow-up series to Carl Sagan's award-winning television program "Cosmos: A Personal Voyage". The thirteen-part series, which debuted in 1980 on PBS, is still the network's most widely watched series in the world; having been viewed by an estimated 500 million people.

The sequel is being helmed by "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane, as well as Sagan's original team - his widow, writer/producer Ann Druyan and astrophysicist Steven Soter. It will air (shock!) during primetime on Fox and be co-produced by the National Geographic Channel.

“Never more than at this moment in the modern era have we needed a profound reminder of the colossally important and exciting role that science, space exploration and the human quest for knowledge must continue to play in our development as a species,” MacFarlane said. “We should be vigorously exploring the solar system by now, and who better to inspire us to get there than Ann Druyan, Steven Soter, Neil deGrasse Tyson and, of course, Carl Sagan.”

According to producer, the thirteen-part series will "take viewers to other worlds and travel across the universe for a vision of the cosmos on the grandest scale. The most profound scientific concepts will be presented with stunning clarity, uniting skepticism and wonder, and weaving rigorous science with the emotional and spiritual into a transcendent experience.”

Look for the new "Cosmos" to hit sometime in 2013.

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Neil deGrasse Tyson debuts new PETA ad
Renowned astrophysicist will also host a new television series sequel to Carl Sagan's classic 'Cosmos: A Personal Voyage.'