My fondest memories of junior high science class involve a chorus of “Bill Nye the Science Guy! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill!” The opening theme to the show that made science interesting and accessible to young people back in my formative years is one remembered by many of my peers. Bill Nye is a mechanical engineer by trade turned TV host and activist who began his program in hopes of making lessons about science that would capture the interest of young children. These programs were shown in many a classroom and certainly helped plenty of students, including myself, agree that “science rules”. Bill Nye has now expanded his influence: creating a new Netflix show to further the accessibility of science to viewers, and speaking out about the importance of issues like climate change, women’s health, and renewable energy for the next generation of scientists.
A considerably high-profile man, many departments at UT Dallas contributed to help bring Bill Nye to campus as a distinguished lecturer in conjunction with Springapalooza and the Erik Jonsson Distinguished Lecture series. Many thanks to every department that contributed! Students quickly claimed every available seat in the auditorium where he was to speak, and a waitlist filled up. I was chosen to usher the event, so I got some inside experience (and got to shake his hand!). Bill Nye spoke about his life and the influence his early experiences had on where he is today. The main emphasis of his lecture was the pertinent issue of climate change, and the importance of individuals at our age seeking out opportunities in science that can benefit the world throughout the near future. He spoke of renewable energy, outlining plans for solar and wind power that could reduce the environmental impact humans are having upon the Earth. He spoke to inspire the students to do everything they could to change the world for the better, and to enlighten them about the importance of science in addressing these future changes. After his lecture, he tool to answering student’s questions that ranged from “what are the most pressing obstacles to space exploration?” to “what is your favorite cereal?” (answer: it’s Shredded Wheat and Rice Krispies). He was met with a standing ovation at the conclusion of his lecture.
UT Dallas offers a chock-full calendar of fun and educational events for its students, but in my personal opinion this lecture was one of the coolest yet. For a school so distinguished in the sciences, the lecture was pertinent and inspiring. Thanks again to the UT Dallas Student Union and Activities Advisory Board, the Eugene McDermott Library, the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and the Naveen Jindal School of Management for sponsoring An Evening with Bill Nye! It was an event I will remember fondly as part of my UT Dallas experience.
B.S. Criminology/ Psychology
Class of 2018
The University of Texas at Dallas