Friday, August 21, 2015

Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson just two smart people hanging out on the roof talking science.

Courtesy of the YouTube page:

"Dear Citizen of Planet Earth," 

That's how Carl Sagan addressed the public in an introductory letter about the Planetary Society back in the 1980s. Now Bill (CEO) and Neil (Board Member) reminisce about those days, talk about what we should call people from planet Earth, discuss how Neil's Cosmos TV show stressed Bill out, and tell us who will the first humans will be to orbit Mars.

You know sometimes I just post things because they make me smile.

This made me smile.

Watching these two great men "Nerding out" on that rooftop made me kind of wish I could have joined them.

Kinda reminded me of an episode of "The Big Bang Theory" actually.


  1. A Superfan In Atlanta4:43 AM

    Totally O/T but relevant

    Here is why it is important to elect intelligent people into the White House

    TPM: The Case of the Disappearing Dubya

    Aurin Squire, TPM: George W. Bush will not be giving speeches on behalf of his brother anytime soon. In fact, if the Republican establishment has its way, Dubya won't be anywhere near a camera for the 2016 election. (Who could forget his five-minute boilerplate video, shown in lieu of his attendance at the 2012 Republican National Convention?) His disappearance from the national spotlight is a strange phenomenon in contemporary American politics. Under normal circumstances, Bush would take his place along other ex-presidents as a national figurehead of some influence, especially with his brother as a presidential candidate. Yet, his deafening silence is indicative of not only his disastrous administration, but the GOP's attempt to erase him from the country's memory. This upcoming election marks the latest great GOP purge of history.

    1. Disappearance is his specialty. Where was he when he was supposed to be at ft. Rucker? He was mia

  2. Anonymous5:27 AM

    NdGT is a graduate of Harvard and Columbia, a cosmologist who did a post doc at Princeton. Bill Nye is a former engineer and club comedian. If he didn't wear the goofy bow tie and self promote so well he'd be like 1000s of other scientists and engineers I know who don't act like goofballs but are out there in the trenches doing good science outreach every day- for free. For actors-turned-science educators I vastly prefer Don Herbert, who didn't need to be silly to make a point.

    I don't think those two "great men" are in the same class at all.

    1. Anonymous5:52 AM

      Bill Nye and his "silliness" has brought science to millions of kids and has been a vocal public advocate for science in the face of anti-science nonsense. I'm not sure why you're so down on him.

    2. Anonymous5:57 AM

      Both men have made my 4th graders sit up and dynamically engage in science. For that I am grateful.

    3. Anonymous5:57 AM

      Apparently, no one told them to consult you on how they should act.

    4. Anonymous7:45 AM

      What does it matter *how* the message goes out, so long as it goes out? Different approaches will reach different kinds of people. I for one enjoy laughing, and Nye can make me laugh *and* teach me something I didn't know.

    5. Anonymous10:16 AM

      I'm not saying Bill Nye isn't immensely entertaining and doing a great job getting kids interested in science; he certainly is. (Although my kids liked sincerity better than goofiness in most cases.) But it's important to remember that when ADULTS are looking for factual scientific information they should look to topic experts, not entertaining generalists. Most scientists (especially PhDs) are very narrow in their learning (I know, I'm married to one and hang out with many). Media gets in trouble when they ask a meteorologist about climate change, rather than a climatologist, and a cosmologist about evolutionary genetics. And mostly, the public doesn't know the difference.

    6. Anonymous10:37 AM

      Bill Nye isn't insincere.

      And many scientists expand their knowledge base beyond their central field if they are given the opportunity and incentive (internal or external). Bill Nye is an engineer who knows a helluva lot about chemistry and evolutionary biology. And Neil Degrasse Tyson knows a lot about a lot of fields outside Cosmology.

      I think people reacted to what they see as you minimizing the intelligence and gravitas of Bill Nye, referring to him as just a goofy engineer and a stand-up comedian.

      Of course, when the media needs an expert opinion on climate, they should get it from a climatologist. And of course, adults should go beyond Bill Nye the Science Guy. But, let's not diminish Nye's continued positive impact on the advancement of science education and awareness for children and adults.

  3. Anonymous5:56 AM

    I'm glad you post stories like these, Gryph. It's becoming increasingly rare to see this kind of feel good and fun but also educational stories in the MSM.

    In today's media, it's all about the clicks, therefore a story every single day about what the Kardashians are wearing or doing in what used to be real news outlets.

    R in NC

  4. Anita Winecooler4:49 PM

    Nerds Rule! Both these men sparked an interest in learning about science while sparking their curiosity about outer space and beyond, and that's not an easy task to accomplish.
    When we were growing up, we had the opportunity to witness manned space travel for the first time, and we saw the first man on the moon, etc. etc. It was a big deal.
    Now, we barely blink an eye when someone goes to space, when we get pictures from the surface of mars, etc.
    If I could have dinner and a conversation with anyone, alive or dead, These two men and possibly Mr Rogers would be at the top of my list.


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