Popular Science: What was it like picking up where Carl Sagan left off? 

Neil deGrasse Tyson: It would be weird to try and be Carl, but I'm just trying to be myself, and luckily I already have a following and a comfort level reaching the public and bringing the universe down to Earth. I think that's what Cosmos is about. Some people think it's a remake, but it's not--it's a continuation. 

PS: Did you have any interaction with Sagan during his life? 

NDT: I think we were in the same company four times. But one story I re-tell in the first episode of the show: When I was 17, he invited me to the campus of Cornell after I applied, and he showed me his lab. He was already famous at the time and I was struck by how kind and tender and interested he was in my ambitions to become a scientist--he didn't have to be. I realized he had a powerful commitment to promoting science and to keep this epic adventure moving forward. I vowed I would give the same attention to people [upon becoming a scientist].