Bill Nye The Science guy on apps the betterment of all humankind


first_imgA whole new generation of children are about to enjoy the amazing Bill Nye the Science Guy, in a way that is fitting for the times we live in. The new Bill Nye The Science Guy app has been released by Disney for the iPhone and iPad, and takes the videos from his shows and adds question and answer phases and the ability to explore the desk of Bill Nye.We took a few minutes to talk to The Science Guy to discuss his new app and some of the other things he’s been working on recently.Russell Holly: For a little while now, as someone who follows your work, you’ve wanted to bring a more interactive and educational experience to kids through the same lessons you were teaching when the show was being broadcast for the first time. Do you feel this app accomplished that goal, or is there more to do?Bill Nye: Yeah, that was the idea. That’s where the kids are, the kids are on their electric computer machines, so that’s where we’re meeting them. It has elements from the show, and then they came in and literally took a picture of my desk and the developers worked with that to create the app.Russell Holly: From your perspective, as someone who has watched as an entire generation of people has grown up with this secondary science education from shows like yours to now growing up to see things like Mythbusters and the more entertainment-focused Big Bang Theory, what do you see as the overall effect of these experiences?Bill Nye: Just that being a nerd is cool, and that science is cool. The more people we get engaged, not necessarily becoming scientists or better yet engineers, the better voters and taxpayers we will have. A scientifically literate society will make better decisions, for the betterment of all humankind. No big deal.What’s so cool now is that we have the internet, we have handheld devices, we have the extraordinary means to access so much information so quickly. It’s changing the world in the best way. I’m very gratified that there are people out there that got interested by watching my show, just 50 or 60 people in a warehouse just kind of screwing around. I find myself saying all the time that I don’t think I get it. I don’t think I get the impact of the show.Russell Holly: The show absolutely had an impact. So much, in fact, that you’re about to have a place in the Smithsonian right?Bill Nye: Yeah, they want to put my bow ties in the Smithsonian. Not all of them though, that would be troublesome. Steve Turner, a curator with the Smithsonian, asked me for four of them. I’m going to send him a dozen. It’s amazing, Julia Childs has an exhibit at the Smithsonian. If I’m playing at Julia Childs’ level, that’s a pretty high level.Russell Holly: There’s a lot of focus on the internet right now when it comes to things like funding for NASA, and really a desire to introduce children to the STEM community. You’ve become a pretty big voice for these movements with things like this app and your Big Think interview on YouTube, what’s your plan moving forward?Bill Nye: So with the Big Think interview they caught me musing, which was good. It was really good, but it wasn’t something I had intentionally set out to do whereas the Science Guy show was quite intentional. I worked at a company, my last full time engineering job, where the managers were obsessed with making a profit every quarter. You can’t do that when you’re trying to invent something new, when you’re trying to innovate. It’s ineffective. So I decided to quit my job and try to influence young people.All of this stuff is all driving toward the same thing. We want a future of people who are, first of all a lot more scientists and especially engineers, but also a future where many more people appreciate it. A future where you don’t for example, have the third most populous country in the world with a committee for science in its House of Representatives where a significant fraction of the members don’t really believe in science. You don’t want that in the future. This is not something you can change overnight, but I thought to myself 20 years ago that this is what we’ve gotta do. To get kids excited about science, for the betterment of all humankind. No big deal.Russell Holly: To wrap this up, I’d like to change topics slightly. What would you do in a Zombie Apocalypse?Bill Nye: Zombies are trouble, you know? You can’t reason with them, but fortunately they are kind of slow moving so you’ve gotta deal with zombies as they come. That’s my feeling. If you can explode them, that’s really good. You’d need a lot of weaponry, and it’s very stressful. You know what else? It seems to be in every zombie movie there’s a lot of collateral damage. You’re blowing up whole buildings and houses and exploding cars, it’s a stressful business. I recommend avoiding it altogether.I have a Dutch door, the kind that’s split in half in the middle. It had a lock up top like most doors and a latch on the bottom that allows you to separate the top from the bottom. When the latch is engaged, you can’t open the door. It’s like a deadbolt. I had a second deadbolt installed on the lower half, so I can keep the upper half open and you can’t open the lower half without reaching over and undoing the deadbolt. The reason you put that second deadbolt in is zombies. They don’t have what it takes to reach over and reason that out. This is very well documented, and that’s why I had that installed.last_img

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