Pop science comes to life at Mcalister


Ashley Easterly, Senior Staff Reporter

The man who taught us to love science stepped out from VHS and up to the podium at McAlister Auditorium in his lecture 8 p.m. Monday night.

Famed scientist, comedian, author, engineer and inventor Bill Nye “the Science Guy” encouraged Tulane students to use their knowledge to change the world for the better.

Nye is well-known for his educational television program titled “Bill Nye the Science Guy” that aired on PBS from 1993 to 1998. Nye’s lecture did not focus on his experience with his show, but rather covered a variety of topics ranging from his passion for sundials, to space exploration, to the serious implications of climate change.

On the environment, Nye voiced his concern on the inevitability of sea level rise and catered to his New Orleans audience.

“Cities will be underwater,” Nye said.  

Nye presented a call to action to the audience: change things before it’s too late. He specifically highlighted the importance of investment in alternative and renewable energy, such as wind and solar energies.

“Future generations will look back at my generation and say ‘Dude, what were you thinking? You weren’t thinking,'” Nye said.

He emphasized the importance of people from all backgrounds and disciplines taking an active role in recovering our environment. He noted it’s not just scientists who can affect change in environmental issues, but politicians, filmmakers, English majors, venture capitalists, attorneys and regular citizens.

“You have to influence government,” Nye said. “You know how you do that? You vote.”

Nye currently serves as the executive director of The Planetary Society. At the Planetary Society, Nye’s work focuses around advocating for planets in order to look for signs of life and explore.

“The joy of discovery – that’s what science is all about; that’s the essence of it,” Nye said. “Space exploration brings out the best in us.”

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