Bill Nye brings message of ‘scientific literacy’ to NMU message of ‘scientific literacy’ to NMU

Nolan Krebs

Scientist and television personality Bill Nye will be visiting the Northern Michigan University campus on Thursday, Sept. 20 to speak at Vandament Arena.

The event, which will focus on the importance of science in our everyday lives, will be hosted the NMU Honors Student Organization.

“We wanted to organize an event to get our name out there as a student organization, and we wanted to provide something to students that would be academic and also entertaining,” said president of the Honors Student Organization Morgan Raether.

“The organization Platform Personalities brought NPR correspondant Dina Temple-Raston last year, and we wanted to do something like that, which wouldn’t be a normal lecture but something more engaging,” Raether said.

Nye is best-known for his children’s television show “Bill Nye the Science Guy,” which aired from 1993 to 98.

As a writer, producer and star of the show, Nye won seven national Emmy Awards, and the show itself collected 18 Emmys in it’s five-year life span.

Nye holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Cornell University, and honorary doctorate degrees from Johns Hopkins University, Goucher College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

According to, Nye now works as the executive director of the world’s largest space interest program, The Planetary Society.

He also travels the country as a science educator and entertainer “to help foster a scientifically literate society, to help people everywhere understand and appreciate the science that makes our world work.”

“There are very few people who don’t know who Bill Nye is,” Raether said. “A lot of students remember him from growing up and watching ‘Bill Nye’ in the classroom, and that experience is something that we want to bring along with us as college students.”

While the event is centered around a lecture concerning the role of science in the modern world and the benefits of being environmentally-conscious citizens, the HSO plans to reach out to the youth in the community through the event as well.

“We think that students are going to really have a good time, but we’ve invited students from the high school and middle schools so that they can share in the event as well,” Raether said.

The Honors Student Organization had planned to bring Nye to campus last year, but the event was pushed back due to funding issues.

“I had heard a while ago that they were thinking about bringing him to campus,” said senior human geography major Gage Brogan. Word spread quickly when Nye was confirmed as a speaker.

“When rumors kind of started flaring up last week that he was coming, my roommates and I started scrambling to see when and where we could lock down some tickets,” Brogan said.

For some students, the event is a trip down memory lane. “I watched his show all the time with my brothers and sisters when school got out,” said sophomore art and design major Madeline Goodman. “When I start thinking about it, I can hear the theme song in my head.”

Bill Nye will speak at 7 p.m. and the event is $5 for students and $10 for the general public. Tickets are currently available through all NMU ticket outlets.

For more information, call the HSO at (906) 227-2344 or email [email protected]