Celebrity Picks: Bill Nye

Bill-Nye225Bill Nye has worn a lot of hats. He's been a mechanical  engineer for Boeing, a stand-up comedian, and a crime-fighting speed-walker. Most famously, he is Bill Nye The Science Guy, a latter-day Mr. Wizard determined to spread the gospel of scientific method through a mixture of humor, weird-yet-illuminating experiments, and bottomless curiosity; his eponymously titled television show was a sort of Pee Wee's Playhouse for the lab coat set. (I'd also like to add that he has the eyebrows of a Mentat, which, for his line of work, should be considered a compliment.)

More recently, Nye has positioned himself as a defender of science and a promoter of rational thought. His latest book (and there are many) is perfectly aligned with that mission: Everything All at Once encourages readers to unleash the nerd within, developing the critical thinking skills to tackle any problem and effect change at any scale - from the personal to the global. His goal is simple and still yet achievable: Save the world through sanity, science, and an occasional joke.

What does a Science Guy read to sate his own curiosity? See Nye's favorites below, and look here for more celebrity favorites.


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Hillbilly Elegy provides the reader with insight into how the U.S. got into its current mess. People with strong and often inconsistent values feel disenfranchised and often don’t act in their own best interest. I hope J.D. Vance’s story will help us learn to work together and improve the quality of life for all our citizens.
 

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The Elements of Style is my guide. I accept that I’ll never write anything as good as the introductory essay by E.B. White. It’s brilliant. As a guy who is often asked to read aloud from radio scripts and teleprompter, I am a fan of the serial comma. Red, white, and blue comes out properly. Red, white and blue, seldom does.
 

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Fundamentals of Modern Physics is just that. It has been said: “All science is physics.” When I learned the fundamentals of physics, my view of the world and life itself was changed forever. [Note: Fundamentals is currently out of print, but used copies are available -ed.]
 

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"The Hockey Stick" graph changed the way most of us understood the natural history of Earth. Ours is only the second species known to be capable of changing the climate of an entire planet. Intuitively, you’d think we’d have more awareness of our influence than blue-green algae. But these days, I’m not so sure. [Note: "The Hockey Stick" is a climate science article published in 1998 by Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley, and Malcolm K. Hughes. Mann's The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars describes the paper and the controversy that followed in the contexts of science , politics, and economics. - ed.]
 

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Carry On Mr. Bowditch is about a real-life American hero who pulls himself through life with genius and hard work. He inspired me as kid; he still does. I hope to make the movie someday soon.
 

 

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