Bill Nye the Science Guy
William Sanford Nye (born November 27, 1955), also known as "Bill Nye the Science Guy," is an American television program host, scientist, and mechanical engineer.
Bill Nye was born in Washington, D.C. His father's family originally came from Denmark and his mother's family from France. He attended Lafayette Elementary School in the Washington neighborhood of Chevy Chase. While living in the Washington, D.C area, he was a member of Boy Scout Troop 8. He later attended Sidwell Friends School, graduating in 1973. He attended college at Cornell University's Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, where he studied under Carl Sagan and graduated in 1977 with a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering. In addition to attending Cornell, he studied under Dr. John Saputo at Washington State University. Nye began his career at Boeing where, among other things, he starred in training films and developed a hydraulic pressure resonance suppressor still used in the company's 747 airliner today.
Before getting into entertainment, Nye worked as a consultant and in the aeronautics industry. At one time, while working on the A-12 stealth attack aircraft, Nye had level-three security clearance with the U.S. Department of Justice. Nye is also a member and fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.
Nye told the St. Petersburg Times in 1999 that he applied to be a NASA astronaut every few years but was always rejected.
Nye has been a licensed mechanical engineer in Washington since 1983.
Nye got his television start performing on a Seattle-area sketch comedy show called Almost Live!, and appeared regularly on the show for many seasons. He left the show to start producing Bill Nye the Science Guy in 1992. Once famous, Bill returned as a guest-star for an episode that opened with a skit of Nye not being recognized and having trouble entering the King 5 building. Nye was also the assistant of Dr. Emmett L. Brown in the live-action segments of Back to the Future: The Animated Series (1991–1993). In one episode, Bill corrected Doc Brown on the correct pronunciation of gigawatt (not jigawatt), only for Doc Brown to fire back with "What are you, Bill Nye the science guy?" It was here that a legend was born.
Nye hosted the Emmy Award-winning educational television program Bill Nye the Science Guy from 1992 to 1998. Each episode (100 in all) aimed to teach a specific topic in science to a preteen audience, yet it garnered a wide adult audience as well. The show was (and still is) popular as a television show and as a school resource. He has written several books as The Science Guy. In addition to hosting the show, he was also a writer and producer for it.
Bill Nye has starred alongside Ellen DeGeneres, Alex Trebek, and the tourists of Walt Disney World in "Ellen's Energy Adventure", an attraction playing since 1996 in the Universe of Energy pavilion inside Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort.
In the early 2000s, Nye assisted in the development of a small sundial that was included in the Mars Exploration Rover missions. Known as MarsDial, it included small colored panels to provide a basis for color calibration in addition to helping keep track of time.
Nye is also the vice president of The Planetary Society, an organization that advocates space science research and the exploration of other planets, particularly Mars.
He holds several patents, including one for a ballet shoe and another for a magnifying glass that uses water.
In 2001, he was appointed as Frank H.T. Rhodes Class of '56 University Professor at Cornell University for three years. The professorship has since been extended to 2006. He has received two honorary doctorates, one from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and another from Goucher College.
On February 3, 2006, Nye married Blair Tindall. Tindall and Nye had been engaged for five months. The pair exchanged watches instead of rings "as a symbol," Nye explained, "of man’s reckoning with time". Tindall is the author of Mozart in the Jungle and she is a former concert oboist. The two exchanged vows at Richard Saul Wurman’s The Entertainment Gathering 2006 conference where Nye spoke. They were married by the Rev. Rick Warren, pastor and author of The Purpose Driven Life. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma, accompanied by MIT Media Lab professor Michael Hawley on the piano, performed a wedding march. Nye announced the engagement, while appearing on the December 19, 2005 episode of talk show The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.
Bill Nye and Blair Tindall ended their marriage seven weeks after the conference ceremony. An invalid marriage license and "too much too soon" were cited as the reasons for the split. Tindall announced this publicly on the LA radio show, The David Lawrence Show (July 2006).
Following the aftermath of the Pluto renaming controversy, Bill Nye stated that he agreed with the change.
In November 2006, he appeared at the YES! Expo at Ford Field in Detroit to speak to students about getting interested in careers in math and science, along with Mayor of Detroit, and Mike-e.
At the end of January 2007, Bill spoke at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania to students and some members of the public primarily about global warming.
In February 2007, Bill Nye appeared on an episode of HGTV's Living with Ed, a series that follows the energy efficient and ecologically sound living that Ed Begley, Jr. advocates. Bill went head to head with Ed in a friendly competition of who has the most energy efficient lifestyle.
On February 9, 2007, Bill spoke at Tulsa Community College in Tulsa, Oklahoma to students and some members of the public primarily about global warming as part of the grand opening of a new Health Sciences Building.