If you care about the place of science in our culture, then this has to be the best news in a very long time. Last Sunday night, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey — which airs on Fox and then the next day on the National Geographic Channel — actually tied ABC’s The Bachelorette for the top ratings among young adult viewers, the “key demographic” coveted by advertisers. And it did so by — that’s right — airing an episode about the reality of climate change.

Tuesday evening, I had the privilege of sitting down with the show’s host, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, to discuss this milestone, and how he feels generally as the 13-part series comes to a close. (The final episode, entitled “Unafraid of the Dark,” airs this Sunday night.) “The ratings are exceeding our expectations,” said Tyson, fresh off the climate episode triumph. But Tyson emphasized that to him, that’s not the most important fact: Rather, it’s that a science show aired at all in primetime on Sunday night.

“You had entertainment writers putting The Walking Dead in the same sentence as Cosmos,” said Tyson. “Game of Thrones in the same sentence of Cosmos. ‘How’s Cosmos doing against Game of Thrones?’ That is an extraordinary fact, no matter what ratings it earned.”