Bill Nye The Science Guy Inspires Eisenhower Auditorium
“Bill Bill Bill Bill Bill!” was the go-to chant in the Eisenhower Auditorium as Bill Nye took the stage Wednesday night. Bill Nye the Science Guy, known and adored for his middle school-friendly science videos, drew an enormous crowd thanks to the Student Programming Association’s (SPA) Distinguished Speaker Series.
Though you probably recognize Mr. Nye from videos you watched in science class, there’s much more to him. Nye harnessed humor, energy, and intellect to light up the crowd, and he certainly did not disappoint.
Before the lecture, we were lucky enough to sit down for a press conference with Nye. He was personable, warm, and, of course, brilliant. It’s no secret that Nye has influenced students across America. For some, he even sparked a passion for science.
“It’s very gratifying knowing I influenced so many students. I don’t think I get it,” he explained. “I try and understand how influential the show was. Thousands of you watched it. Many of you aren’t pursuing science but still have an appreciation for it because of the show, which is absolutely incredible.”
Nye opened his lecture by discussing his early childhood, and how he first got involved in science. He specifically talked about his parents, and explained how they had a huge impact on his infatuation with the subject.
His lecture was very educational, consistently witty, and energetic. Nye went into detail about his experience with sundials, as well as space exploration. At one point he discussed the science behind the orange color of the sky on Mars.
“As you can see the color of the sky on Mars is like the color of women’s stockings. Although I don’t wear them myself, I am a huge fan of them,” he laughed.
Nye also discussed his recently published book, “Unstoppable,” which focuses on the issue of climate change on earth. The book was recently listed as a New York Times Best Seller.
“Right now my most exciting projects include touring the nation and promoting my newly released book,” he said. “I am also working on another one, as well as a movie.”
Nye kept students energized by consistently encouraging them. He inspired the crowd by offering engaging stories and examples, such as the likelihood of life on Mars.
“What I hope the audience will take out of this lecture is the desire to change the world,” he said simply. “Despite what’s happening in the world, like the tragedies in Paris, we need to stay optimistic. We have to know we can accomplish great things. In five years I would like to see you guys cure cancer and supply the world with fresh water. You can do that, right people?!”
Nye emphasized how climate change denial is almost exclusively generational. Millennials are often more pro-active in terms of protecting the environment, while older generations may deny that climate change exists altogether. He explained his love for Earth and how we should all have a desire to protect the planet.
“When people ask what my favorite planet is, I say Earth of course!” Nye said. “I live here. My friends are here. So are yours. If there was a ‘Solar System Cup,’ I would be team Earth all the way.”
Overall, Bill Nye delivered a spectacular lecture to a full Eisenhower Auditorium. Hopefully Nye inspired more Penn State students to get out and help construct ideas to combat the harmful effects of climate change.
But first…perhaps a little pump-up session?