Thousands flock to the Reno Event Center on April 2 to see Bill Nye, more commonly known as “Bill Nye the Scientific Man.” Nye, a famous bowtie-wearing scientist and artist, made a trip to Reno, Nevada on April 2 to give a presentation and answer audience questions about climate change, space travel, and activism.
This event was jointly presented by affiliated students from the University of Nevada and the University of Nevada, Reno itself. More than 3,400 people were in attendance and earned more than $132,000, with tickets ranging from $10 to $20.
Attendees included college students, members of the public, faculty, staff, and the Nevada Association of Student Councils—an organization made up of high school student council members from across Nevada. The Assembly visited the United Nations and attended the event as part of the NSAC Mandate Conference, which took place from March 31 to April 2.
The audience was very upset with Nye’s show. However, Brian Sandoval, President of the United Nations, and Austin Brown, President of ASUN, took the first stage, and gave their own short presentation on the University and ASUN to encourage high school students to attend the United Nations and experience the “Wolf Pack Way”.
Wearing a bow tie resembling Nye’s, Sandoval noted that Nye had a connection to Nevada as a distant cousin of the first governor of Nevada.
Next, Sandoval and Brown gave a standing ovation to the star of the night as Bill Nye the science man stepped out into a lively audience chanting the lyrics to the famous song from his TV show of the same name.
Nye started his presentation with the topic of climate change. The first slide included a picture of Earth, Venus, and Mars. Nye spoke of “comparative planetary science,” a term coined by award-winning planetary scientist – and longtime Cornell professor – Carl Sagan. The average temperature on Earth is 58 degrees, Venus 847 degrees, and Mars -81 degrees.
“Earth is perfect for us,” Nye said of the planet.
Despite this, he noted, the Earth is getting hotter and slowly approaching the temperature of Venus. For thousands of years, the Earth has remained at the same temperature, but it is rapidly warming. Nye exemplified this by displaying the popularized “Hockey Stick Growth Chart” by climate scientist Jerry Mahlman.
“Embrace the science process and, dare I say it, change the world,” Nye said of how to tackle the issue of climate change.
He cited work from Stanford researchers, most notably Marc Jacobson, who claimed that the United States could supply the world with renewable energy if they “decided to do so”. In addition to reducing fossil fuels in the United States, it will create jobs – with an estimated 3,000 new jobs in Nevada alone.
To do this, the United States will have to switch to solar panels, rather than burning more fossil fuels. Nye believes that this goal can and should be achieved by 2050.
Moving on to his next topic, Nye tackled the topic of politics and activism.
To start with this topic, Nye explained Euclidean geometry to the audience – the principle states that two parallel lines do not intersect. Although this principle is apparently tangible, the lines are beginning to blur over what is a principle and what is not.
Nye used Euclidean geometry and the argument of principles as a euphemism for something much greater. Nye criticized the Republican National Committee for calling the January 6 rebellion a “legitimate political rhetoric”. This concept was widely supported by the masses, to applause.
“It’s a crazy time we’re living in,” Nye said regarding this section of the show.
Furthermore, he encouraged the public to vote specifically to improve the lives of women, which he believes is critical to improving everyone’s lives.
Nye cited the United States Constitution to return to its main theme, which states that America is to “promote the progress of science and the useful arts.”
Quoting this, Nye hopes for more space exploration to help propel society further, even though the cost of the endeavor is prohibitive. He continues to promote this idea as CEO of the Planetary Society, an organization in which he has been active since childhood.
Nye’s love and admiration for Sagan is shown during his presentation. Nye frequently mentions Sagan’s work in space exploration and advocates for the Planetary Society that Sagan founded.
During the final section of the presentation, Nye delved deeper into talking about his love of space and his hopes for exploration. He specifically referred to the exploration of Mars and his hopes of finding some kind of microbe that would prove the existence of life on another planet.
Nye looked back as a child and was amazed at the idea of space, and the time when his third-grade teacher, Mrs. Cochran, told him there were more stars in the sky than there were grains of sand on Earth. With a chuckle, he remembered that he thought she was high.
Back at the beginning of his presentation, Nye noted how small the Earth is in a frenzy of existentialism, or comparative planetary science. This closes the show as Nye moves to the last slide that says “Let’s Change the World”.
During the last thirty minutes, Nye answered questions from the audience. More than 1,500 questions were submitted to a Google Form that was presented to the audience prior to the presentation. All questions were asked by Jeff Thompson, Vice President and Vice President of the United Nations.
The first question asked what he believed to be the best discovery ever made. His answer was the carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen cycle discovered by Hans Beta, which proved that all humans are made of star dust.
Nye was then asked about his views on oil and garbage pollution. In short, Nye said “oil and waste pollution is very bad.”
The next question was something social media users were thinking, which was whether there were more wheels or doors. According to Know Your Meme, the discussion on Twitter originated from the user Tweet embed Who posed this question to his followers.
The debate has been raging since March, so the audience took it to the world famous. Nye was confused about the question because he didn’t know what constituted a wheel or a door—other than the obvious.
Although he provided a follow-up answer to another discussion on social media about whether or not sausages are sandwiches. He answered “No” because hot dogs are not served halved.
Nye was part of many classes across the country, with some people even citing him as the one who nurtured or taught them most of the sciences. The next question referred again to this idea and how he felt about raising a generation and being a part of student life.
“It’s pretty cool,” said Nye in his answer. “I say it all the time, I don’t get it.”
The only thing Nye hopes to do for students is encourage them to leave the world better than what they found.
In addition, someone also asked how was his life while filming his TV show. Nye’s answer: Busy.
He asked the next question how he discovered his passion for science. Nei answered honestly and stated that he did not remember, although there were a few moments he could think of again.
Nye remembered when his brother owned a chemistry set, notorious for being too dangerous in the 1950s and 1960s. He remembers his brother mixing chemicals from the kit to make ammonia and is surprised.
If he was forced to offer one thing for the rest of his life, what would Nai do? Present in science, of course, but more specifically its passion, beauty, and pleasure — or “PB and J of science,” as he referred to it.
The audience’s final question was what inspires him. It was no surprise, science said.
“Science is the best idea people have ever had,” said Nye. “The joy of discovery is the essence of science.”
At the end of his speech, the crowd cheered and chanted his famous song as he walked off the stage. Bill Nye, the science guy, made for an unforgettable night in the biggest little town.Emerson Drewes can be reached via email at [email protected] Or via Twitter @EmersonDrewes.