Bill Nye tells UIC students: I want you to change the world
There were no crazy sound effects as Bill Nye the Science Guy took the stage at the UIC Forum in his iconic bow tie, pinstripe blue suit and signature coif — just excited screams and laughter.
During his Nov. 11 appearance before a packed house, Nye discussed “Cerulescense” — a term he coined to describe the ting of blue in shadows on Earth — climate change, sundials and much more. Scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson joined the conversation on speaker phone.
“I want you to change the world. I want you guys to be the next great generation,” Nye frequently exclaimed.
Nye shared interesting personal details, including his mother’s involvement in cracking the Enigma Code and his father’s fascination with sundials.
With characteristic humor, he displayed his own sundial creations, concocted from pizza and beer cartons, and the sundial he made that was used in the Mars mission.
“Who knew they could be so useful?” he said.
Moving on to the topic of climate change, Nye compared the carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere to that of Mars.
“If we change the world’s climate, we all pay,” Nye said. “Denying climate change is holding us all back.”
Nye addressed the plausibility of powering the world with wind and solar energy and other inventions, such as cars on solar grids that harness energy through batteries.
“If we had the will, we could do it,” he said, showing the solar-powered water heater he uses at home. “In World War I, my grandfather came to war on a horse. Twenty years later, the world had drastically changed.”
Nye inspired the audience with his words of wisdom. “It is when we look up and out, when we explore, that we make discoveries,” he said.
Around the edge of the sundial in Mars is a message to the future in tiny letters, he said: “To those who visit here we wish you a safe journey and the joy of discovery.”
“It is part of our DNA to keep looking up and out, understanding our place within the cosmos,” he said.
Nye was the top student choice to give the annual fall lecture sponsored by the Student Activities Board.
“It was really great to see a childhood hero in a different way, considering his humor and the seriousness and maturity of the topics obviously were not in his show,” said Sheren Bamberger, junior in graphic design.
Viral Patel was excited to hear that Nye’s favorite course in college was on control systems.
“It was nice to see a man who inspired my generation to pursue science through his comedy,” said Patel, a senior in electrical engineering.
Preet Dhillon was impressed about Nye’s messages about serious issues like climate change, but also his words on self-confidence.
“I learned from him that if you believe in something, you should pursue it with passion and confidence,” said Dhillon, a senior in biological sciences.