Behind the bow tie

Jennifer Greenlee

Attendees at the Dee Events Center welcomed the Science Guy for the sold-out conversation by chanting “Bill, Bill, Bill” while the “Bill Nye the Science Guy” theme played throughout the auditorium.

Bill Nye spoke at Weber State University as the finale of the Engaged Learning Series this year, centralized around the “Matter of Fact” theme. As an advocate and teacher of scientific fact, there was no one better to close out the year than the Science Guy himself, proven by student tickets selling out in fifteen minutes for the original venue, the 1,400-seat Austad Auditorium.

Nye ran on stage to a standing ovation to meet Stacey Palen for their conversation.

“Have you heard the discussion about the group of Wildcats? There’s a murder of crows, a tower of giraffe.” Nye said. “It’s a destruction of wildcats,” Nye emphasized.

Unfortunately, the talk had some technical difficulties for the first twenty minutes: Nye’s microphone was not completely functional. Attendees in the high/back seats couldn’t hear parts of what Nye said, and several attendees shouted they couldn’t hear Nye’s responses to the questions moderator Dr. Stacey Palen asked.

Eventually, a new microphone was brought on stage for Nye and the rest of the talk ran smoothly.

Nye received a series of questions from a pool taken from The College of Science and social media.

“You don’t have a favorite tye,” Nye said. “I thought this tie had a vaguely spring kind of vibe. And it has a little purple in it.”

Nye has long been known for wearing a bow tie in every episode of “Bill Nye the Science Guy,” and fans were not disappointed. Not only was he wearing one, but the first 100 (check number) people to enter the stadium received an honorary bowtie.

Beyond the bowtie, Nye is known for advocating for renewable energy and putting a stop to climate change.

“It’s a slow motion process of events, but now they’re happening faster and faster,” Nye said in regards to climate change. “ It’s not that the world is going to end on account of climate change, it’s just that things are going to suck. It’s not that the world didn’t use to be warmer and there didn’t use to be more carbon dioxide and the oceans aren’t huge, it’s the speed and which things are changing that’s the problem. So, let’s get to work people.”

Nye has been fighting for the general population to put faith into the theory before it was widely accepted.

When Nye hasn’t been publicly supported for climate change, he has been championing scientific fact over misinformation.

“Vaccines — this is 300-year-old technology. If you choose to not get vaccinated, or worse not vaccinate your kid, that person is a petri dish for a mutated form of the germ,” Nye said. “You have to get vaccinated,” Nye emphasized

When Nye hasn’t been advocating issues to adults, he’s been teaching children the importance of science.

Nye has been a staple of science classrooms since the beginning of “Bill Nye the Science Guy” in 1993. Not only did his show teach science, it taught full theories in a way that young students could easily understand.

“My advice to teachers is to show your passion. What is your favorite thing about your favorite professor and teacher? It’s there passion. They’re excited about what they’re thinking.”

Nye has also written children’s science books to help them develop a deeper love of and appreciation for science.

“Don’t believe everything adults tell you,” Nye said.

Since 2014, Nye has written three books discussing various aspects of science, including climate change, evolution and curiosity.

Nye has never stopped advocating for change, whether through books or television interviews, and he achieved it by influencing an entire generation of students. While students all over the world recognize him as a staple of science, Nye didn’t get there easily.

“I had a very good experience in Boy Scouts; you go to Scout Camp for a week. Well to be a scout lifeguard, you have to rescue a drowning person and row a boat and swim a mile.” Nye said, “For the final exam, one of the camp counselors, who is older and bigger than you ar, pretends to be a drowning victim and you have to bring the guy back to shore. I was the only one to bring my guy back. It was a real lesson – if you stick with it, you can pull it off.”