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Mechanical engineer and television personality Bill Nye got a generation of Americans hooked on science. A master of “edutainment”, Nye became a household name in the 1990s thanks to his fast-paced PBS children’s show Bill Nye the Science Guy, in which he translated science into fun hands-on experiments and demonstrations throughout 100 episodes.
During its five year run, Bill Nye the Science Guy received 18 Emmy Awards for writing, performing, and producing. Nye continued to appear in his “science guy” persona on a variety of shows and venues as a means of promoting curiosity and exploration of the world around us. He has appeared as himself on Larry King Live and the Weather Channel to discuss science education, the reality of climate change, and steps we can take to mitigate it.
In a 2012 video for Big Think, Nye presented his stance that creationism should not be taught to children because it was detrimental to developing scientific literacy and the ability to innovate. The video quickly went viral, receiving millions of views, and led to a highly publicized debate between Nye and creationist Ken Ham in 2014.
Nye currently serves as CEO of the Planetary Society, a nonprofit organization that supports and promotes the continued exploration of space, a field Nye has directly contributed to through his development of the MarsDial, a sundial that was used to calibrate the Mars landers’ Pancam cameras. In 2017 Nye will debut his talk show Bill Nye Saves the World on Netflix. In each episode, he and his team will examine a current issue such as climate change or vaccinations through a scientific lens.
Bill Nye – scientist, engineer, comedian, author, and inventor – is a man with a mission: to help foster a scientifically literate society, to help people everywhere understand and appreciate the science that makes our world work. Nye’s wit and enthusiasm have helped to garner 18 Emmy awards for his PBS/syndicated series Disney Presents Bill Nye the Science Guy.
Nye is also the host of Stuff Happens, a show examining the everyday stuff of our lives, and the far-reaching effects our actions have on the planet. He uses his trademark humor, to help viewers gain understanding on big issues, like the environment and sustainability, and presents positive, upbeat solutions to these critical problems.
Serving as an ambassador for science education, Nye has traveled across the US and has served on children’s education, science, and TV committees and acted as an advocate for children’s safety and health.
An accomplished author, Nye has written five books including, Bill Nye the Science Guy’s Big Blast of Science, Bill Nye the Science Guy’s Please Consider the Following—A Way Cool Set of Science Questions, Answers and Ideas to Ponder, and his most recent book, Bill Nye the Science Guy Considers the Big Blue Ocean.
After a debate with a creationist who believes the world is only 6,000 years old, Nye wrote his first book for a general audience, Undeniable—Evolution and the Science of Creation, featured on the New York Times’ bestsellers list. He considers it a primer on the discoveries and principles of evolution, and with his book and all his writing, Nye hopes to change the world. His next book for the general audience will explore the subjects of energy and climate change, while his next children’s book will be about space exploration.
Nye supports the need to raise the standard of living for women and girls by educating people as effectively as possible. With Disney, Nye wrote and produced Solving for X, a series on DVD about algebra, which turns out to be the most reliable indicator of whether or not a student will pursue a career in science – girls especially.
Nye received a mechanical engineering degree from Cornell University, where he studied under Carl Sagan. He joined Boeing Commercial Airline Company in Seattle, where he worked on flight control systems until his love of entertainment led to work as a stand-up comic and his eventual creation of the persona of the Science Guy.
Bye currently speaks regularly at colleges, appearing often on news and television about a variety of topical science matters, and remains the CEO of the Planetary Society. He fights to raise awareness of climate change and the value of critical thinking, science, and reason. Through all his work, Bye hopes to inspire people everywhere to change the world.
Bill Nye takes us on a journey to the first four planets in the solar system, his work on the MarsDial for the Mars Rovers, and his father’s incarceration in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp, the unlikely event that fostered his father’s fascination of sundials, a passion Nye inherited.
Highlighting the different oddities of other planets like Mercury’s frozen poles and Mars’ frozen carbon dioxide, he notes that these discoveries are relatively young, having been made during his lifetime. Other discoveries that are regarded now as orthodoxy - yet were only verified within the past 50 to 60 years - include tectonic plates, the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs, and entire ecosystems thriving in deep ocean waters that were once considered too hostile and corrosive to support life.
Marveling at the explosive scientific progress made within his lifetime, Nye remarks, “I often wonder what discoveries will be for the young people here in their lifetime that I can’t even imagine.”
June 8, 2018
What's not to love about Bill Nye the science guy? He makes the complicated fascinating and understandable. Highly recommended.
Speaker rating 10/10
August 28, 2018
Bill is an amazing, inspiring speaker. I've seen him lecture a few times and he's always at the leading edge of science and society.
We had so much wonderful feedback from our day with Bill! We really enjoyed our time with him, his presentation, and his time with the kids at the Hands-on Museum. Please thank him for such a wonderful visit. He was charming and a delightful person to work with!
The event went so well! Everyone that saw the show raved about how good it was and loved Bill. He signed posters for everyone, including the Student Activities Board members and took group pictures with the Board and meet and greet winners. Overall, this is one of the biggest events we have had in quite some time and I think that people will be talking about it for a long time.
-Truman State University
The event went very well. We sold out and it was an enthusiastic crowd. The students loved his talk and he was great to work with. He was really engaging, humorous, and educational – all in all, a major success!
-Buffalo State College
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