William Sanford Nye is an author, inventor, engineer, occasional stand-up comedian and visiting professor at Cornell University. He is far more popularly known as Bill Nye the Science Guy, the engaging host of two television series that make science and technology entertaining and accessible.
On February 9, Nye gave a sold-out lecture to an enthusiastic crowd at Elmhurst College as part of the College’s Roland Quest Lecture Series.
During much of his presentation, Nye spoke directly to the many students in the audience, urging them to pursue careers in science and exhorting them to change the world: to slow down global warming, to better feed the hungry, to discover worlds beyond our own. “You guys are living at an extraordinary time," he said. "If we work together to develop new technologies, and share them with everyone, we can improve the quality of life for everyone on the Earth.”
Remarking on his popularity and what it means, he talked about his recent guest appearance on TV's The Big Bang Theory and marveled that the program frequently gets the highest ratings in the country. “We are living at a time, at last, when science is cool!”
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 also is 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.
As an ambassador for science education, Nye has traveled across the U.S. and served on children's education and science committees. He also has been an advocate for children's safety and health.
He has emerged as what The New York Times calls “a warrior for science,” defending the scientific evidence for climate change, explaining the facts on the age of the earth, and otherwise seeking to build a more scientifically literate society.
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.