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Jan. 31, 2013

 

Bill Nye tells students why 'science rules'

By James Ryan

Emmy award-winning writer, producer and host Bill Nye “The Science Guy” addressed more than 600 guests in the Waetjen Auditorium on Wednesday, Jan. 23. This event was part of Chill Fest 2013, Cleveland State's annual celebration to kick off the spring semester.

Bill NyeA roaring crowd welcomed Nye as he began his lecture by sharing stories about his parents.

“My mother’s father wouldn’t let my parents marry until my mom earned her college degree,” Nye said.

He later tied that ethic into his life’s mission, which is to fight science illiteracy.
Nye has done just that by inspiring kids to be curious about science and to never stop asking questions.

Amy Scott, a medical technology major at Cleveland State, felt that Nye contributed to her curiosity in science.

“Every time I saw his show I’d be like, ‘Mom, I want to be a scientist,’” Scott said. “Now I’m a medical technology major.”

Nye went on to speak about how the steep increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the sharp increase in the earth’s population are contributing to global warming. According to Nye, there are more than 7 billion people living on Earth, and the number is rising every second.

Throughout the night Nye proposed solutions ranging from a Bubblator (because bubbles reflect heat back to the sun) to simple solar panels that we could install on the roof of homes to combat global warming.

Nye spoke strongly about the need to do more with less.

“There is no galactic cavalry coming to save us from us,” Nye said.

Nye wrapped up his lecture by answering questions from students. Several students were impressed by the answers he gave.

“I found him thoroughly engaging as a speaker,” said Mathew Montanare, history and education major. “He is probably one of the best speakers I’ve ever heard. What made him so engaging is that he took the concepts he talked about in science and broke them down into a way you could understand.”

After the lecture, students were heard discussing the changes Nye could bring to Cleveland State as faculty.

“I thought he was very inspirational,” said Johnale Simmons, a graphic design major at Cleveland State. “He was very funny, and if he were Cleveland State faculty he would have a lot more people attending his class, and people would get better grades.”

Over a five-year period the educational children’s series, “Disney Presents Bill Nye the Science Guy,” earned 18 Emmys and is still used in U.S. schools as an educational tool.

Nye personally won seven Emmys for writing, performing and producing over his career, and is currently CEO of The Planetary Society, the world’s largest space interest organization.

On Aug. 23, a YouTube video of Nye went viral. In the video Nye explained why he felt creationism isn’t appropriate for children.

Nye argued that adults shouldn’t force their children to deny evolution because “we need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers.” The YouTube video has acquired more than 5 million views and 300,000 comments.

Nye earned a degree in mechanical engineering at Cornell University in 1977. He then spent several years working as an engineer for the Boeing Corporation in Seattle and as a consulting engineer for the U.S Department of Justice.

Nye is the Frank H. T. Rhodes Visiting Professor at Cornell. He holds three honorary doctorate degrees from Goucher College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Johns Hopkins University.

Nye has authored five kids’ books about science. He has five patents and has hosted four television shows.