Nye hosted a science show from 1993-1998 and has also written eight science children’s books. The Emmy award-winner recently starred in the documentary, “Bill Nye: Science Guy,” which took viewers behind the scenes as Nye challenged individuals denying science, including climate change.
GS. Muse: Why Bill Nye Is Not A Scientist – And Why It Matters:
What Qualifies Someone To Be Called A Scientist?
In order to earn the privilege of calling yourself a “scientist” one normally has to have an earned PhD (or at least a Master’s) in the natural sciences. But as one geneticist that I know told me, even after earning his PhD, he still felt hesitant using the word “scientist” to describe himself. To be able to call yourself a “scientist” is a very high honor, and not one that those in the scientific community use lightly.
[Author’s Note: In my original writing of this article, I failed to give credit to scientists who have their Master’s degrees who have done incredible work in the scientific community, and deserve that respect and recognition. And for that, I am deeply sorry. I thought about it, but then honestly failed to mention it, as it was not relevant to the case of Bill Nye. — That said, many of the replies insist that Bill Nye is a scientist, simply because he has spent a lot of time talking about science on TV, and trying to educate people, but this objection simply is not valid.]
Nye began his career as a mechanical engineer for Boeing Corporation in Seattle, where he invented a hydraulic resonance suppressor tube used on 747 airplanes. In 1986, Nye left Boeing to pursue comedy, writing and performing jokes and bits for the local sketch television show Almost Live!, where he regularly conducted wacky science experiments. Nye aspired to become the next Mr. Wizard, and with the help of several producers, successfully pitched the children’s television program Bill Nye the Science Guy to KCTS-TV, Seattle’s public television station. The show—which proudly proclaimed in its theme song that “science rules!”—ran from 1993 to 1998 in national TV syndication. Known for its “high-energy presentation and MTV-paced segments,” the program became a hit among kids and adults, was critically acclaimed and was nominated for 23 Emmy Awards, winning 19.