“The Science Guy.” William Sanford Nye who goes by his more popular moniker Bill Nye is a science educator who began his career in science as one of Boeing’s mechanical engineers. He is most popularly known as Bill Nye the Science Guy where he hosts the Disney/PBS science show for children. Bill Nye is also a comedian, actor, scientist, and a writer. He has gained popularity for his many appearances in today’s media as a fun to watch science educator.
Early Life and Education
Bill Nye was born in November 27, 1955. His mother was a codebreaker named Jacqueline, and his World War II veteran father was named Edwin Darby. His father had experienced being a prisoner of Japanese war camps, and this made him an enthusiast of sundials. This later on had a significant influence on one of Bill’s scientific works.
For a year, Bill attended Lafayette Elementary as well as Alice Deal Junior High in Washington. He graduated in 1973 after being on partial scholarship at Sidwell Friends School. Four years later, he was one of the students of Carl Sagan, a science popularizer and communicator, when he took his mechanical engineering courses at Cornwell University.
Bill Nye’s career began in Seattle when he worked for Boeing where he then began to be part of training films. Also, he was able to develop a resonance suppressor making use of hydraulic pressure which is still a part of today’s Boeing 747. A few years later, Bill worked in the aeronautics industry as a consultant. In an interview for the St. Petersburg Times in 1999, he once told that he applied to become one of the astronauts of NASA every once in a while but was never accepted.
Bill Nye the Science Guy
His name is always associated with “The Science Guy,” which is the character in a children’s science show. His professional career in entertainment began when he had to correct the pronunciation of “Almost Live’s” show host for the word “gigawatt” and said it as “jigowatt.” The host of the local sketch comedy program of Seattle then replied “Who do you think you are—Bill Nye the Science Guy?” which then earned him this moniker.
From 1991-1993, he appeared in the segments of Back to the Future: The Animated Series as Dr. Emmett Brown’s assistant who would demonstrate the science activities as Christopher Lloyd who played Dr. Emmet Brown was explaining. Because of the segment’s popularity, Bill Nye had a show of his very own called “Bill Nye the Science Guy” which was aired from 1993-1998. While the shows were aimed to catch the attention of younger audiences, it gained viewership from the adults as well and were even used as effective educational aids for science classes.
The Science Guy has written several books, and Bill himself wrote and produced his show which was filmed entirely in Seattle. His image as a jocose science educator made it possible for him to reach out to more audiences while conveying factual scientific principles and elements. Whenever he portrayed The Science Guy, he wore a lab coat in a light blue color with a bow tie. This image has been parodied by several sources, which gained The Science Guy even more recognition.
Edutainment Career and Scientific Work
Even after his work as The Science Guy, Bill still had an interest for science education by means of entertainment. In the 1998 Disney Movie called “The Principal Takes a Holiday,” Bill made a hovercraft while demonstrating scientific applications in a novel classroom setup. From 2000-2002, he was the technical expert of BattleBots, and in 2004-2005, he hosted the award winning series of The Science Channel called 100 Greatest Discoveries. Apart from those, he also hosted the 8-part series of Discovery Channel called Greatest Inventions with Bill Nye. For older audiences, he had the 13-episode series from PBS KCTS-TV which was called The Eyes of Nye.
In the more recent years, he appeared in an acting role portraying himself in Stargate Atlantis’ fifth episode called “Brain Storm” where fellow astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson also appeared. In 2012, he made appearances in “Here Comes the Summer” by Palmdale and in The Dr. Oz Show. In 2011, he had appearance on CNN to talk about the nuclear issues being observed in Japan caused by the tsunamis in the area.
His scientific works include the development of a kind of small sundial which was included in the missions of the Mars Exploration Rover. It was called the MarsDial and hit had small panels of different colors which made color calibration as well as timekeeping possible. For 5 years since 2005, Bill was The Planetary Society’s vice president, and they advocated space research especially on other planets—Mars in particular. In 2006, Bill was one of those who supported Pluto’s reclassification from being a planet to a dwarf planet.
In 2010, he became the face of Oakland, California’s Chabot Space & Science Center where his Climate Lab featured the Clean Energy Space Station where he was the commander. The exhibit aims to show people the impact of climate change, and opens the eyes of the viewers on what can be done regarding energy consumption and how smart innovations can change the state of the world.
Bill Nye holds several U.S. patents for some of his works which include ballet pointe shoes and a kind of educational magnifying glass which can be created by filling a plastic bag with some water among others. Apart from his career as a host and television personality, he served as a university professor at Cornell University.
While he is a member of several academic and scientific organizations, he is also a fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry which is a non-profit educational and scientific organization which promotes scientific inquiry as well as investigation while using reason to examine various claims.
He has lived in Los Angeles since 2006, and married Blair Tindall on February of the same year. He has received an honorary doctorate award from the Johns Hopkins University, and an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from Willamette University among other awards. He is a self-proclaimed lover of swing, and has been spotted having fun in dancing venues in the Los Angeles area.