Tyson was host of Cosmos: Possible Worlds on Fox in 2014 and a new edition of the series was to air on National Geographic next year. The religious news site patheos.com recently published accounts from two women who say Tyson behaved in a sexually inappropriate manner toward them.
In a lengthy Facebook post on Saturday, Tyson wrote: “For a variety of reasons, most justified, some unjustified, men accused of sexual impropriety in today’s ‘me-too’ climate are presumed to be guilty by the court of public opinion. Emotions bypass due process, people choose sides, and the social media wars begin.
“In any claim, evidence matters. Evidence always matters. But what happens when it’s just one person’s word against another’s, and the stories don’t agree? That’s when people tend to pass judgment on who is more credible than whom. And that’s when an impartial investigation can best serve the truth – and would have my full cooperation to do so.
“I’ve recently been publically accused of sexual misconduct. These accusations have received a fair amount of press in the past 48 hours, unaccompanied by my reactions. In many cases, it’s not the media’s fault. I declined comment on the grounds that serious accusations should not be adjudicated in the press. But clearly I cannot continue to stay silent.”
The scientist then denied, in detail, an accusation that he groped a woman and denied that he made sexual advances toward a production assistant when he invited her to share wine and cheese at his home. He apologized for making the production assistant feel uncomfortable.
Under the title “Early 1980s”, he also discussed another claim, dating from a relationship in graduate school, which he said “was used as a kind of solicitation-bait by at least one journalist to bring out of the woodwork anybody who had any encounter with me that left them uncomfortable”.
Fox and National Geographic Networks have said they will conduct a thorough investigation of the claims against Tyson.
“I welcome this,” he wrote.