Nye hosted the TV show, “Bill Nye the Science Guy,” from 1993 to 1998. The show, which was marketed to children, delved into scientific topics.
He currently hosts three different shows — on the Science Channel, PBS and Planet Green.
Grace Peter, chairwoman of the CUAB forum committee, said although Nye’s show was produced for a younger audience, he will still provide an educational experience for the college students who grew up watching the program.
“He has international fame in the scientific community, in addition to the connection he has to so many of us who grew up learning the basics from him,” she said.
“His audience is so widespread — I hope that it sparks dialogue and makes people think more about how science affects us all.”
Peter said the committee wanted to bring a speaker with scientific expertise to campus.
“CUAB has not brought a science-specific speaker in a while, and as such an integral part of our community, we wanted to cater to that audience,” she said.
Peter said Nye’s contract will cost $25,000.
William Kier, chairman of the biology department, said although he did not watch Nye’s show, he appreciates its goal to make scientific concepts understandable.
“He thinks about the public perception of science,” Kier said. “He attempts to extend scientific knowledge to the general public.”
Kier said Nye is still relevant to college students because he has also worked as a mechanical engineer.
“It does sound as though he has extended his audience beyond children,” he said.
Nye previously worked as an engineer at Boeing, invented sundials to be used on Mars and created a magnifier made of water.
Kathleen Harris, a freshman biology major, said even though she does not know what Nye will discuss, she will attend the event.
“I just really want to hear him talk,” she said. “It is really cool to see him because I grew up watching his show, and I learned science in middle school that way.”
Peter said she hopes the event will both entertain and educate students.
“We felt that not only would Bill Nye be an exciting speaker for ‘90s kids, he would be very popular with the scientific community and graduate students,” she said.
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