Scientist, Inventor, and Host of Bill Nye the Science Guy.
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. Making science entertaining and accessible is something Nye has been doing most of his life. “My family is funny,” he says, “I mean funny in the sense that we make people laugh, not just funny looking.” Nye discovered that he had a talent for tutoring in high school, and while growing up in Washington, DC. ... He spent afternoons and summers de-mystifying math for his fellow students. When he wasn’t hitting the books, Nye was hitting the road on his bicycle. He spent hours taking it apart to “see how it worked.”
Nye’s fascination with how things work led him to Cornell University and a degree in Mechanical Engineering. After graduation, he headed for Seattle and work as an engineer at Boeing. “There’s a hydraulic resonance suppressor tube on the 747 horizontal stabilizer drive system that I like to think of as my tube,” he says. “I’ve always loved airplanes and flight. The space program was very important to me as a kid. I have a photo from the Apollo 11 mission with the caption, ‘Aldrin’s visor reflects Armstrong…’ Oh yeah, and they’re on the Moon!” exclaims Nye.
It was in Seattle that Bill Nye began to combine his love of science with his flair for comedy, when he won the Steve Martin look-alike contest and developed dual careers as an engineer by day and a stand-up comic by night.
Eventually, he quit his day engineering day job and made the transition to a mid-morning-to-late-at-night job as a comedy writer and performer on Seattle’s home-grown ensemble comedy show Almost Live. This is where Bill Nye the Science Guy® was born.
While working on the Science Guy show, Nye won seven national Emmy Awards for writing, performing, and producing. The show won 28 Emmys in five years. In between creating the shows, he wrote four kids’ books about science. His fifth book, Bill Nye’s Great Big Book of Tiny Germs comes out in the spring of 2005.
Bill Nye is the host of two currently-running television series. The 100 Greatest Discoveries airs on the Science Channel. The Eyes of Nye airs on PBS stations across the country.
Nye was asked to speak at his former professor Carl Sagan’s memorial service and has since moved from being a regular member of the Planetary Society to becoming a member of the Board of Directors.
America’s favorite stand-up scientist hasn’t changed much from that kid growing up in Washington, DC. He still rides his bike to work. He tutored inner-city kids in the I Have a Dream program. And, he’ll still pull out his Periodic Table of the Elements or his Map of Human Skin Tone from his wallet.