March 6th, 2014
SOLD OUT. That’s the official word on Bill Nye’s talk next Saturday at University of Missouri for their “Decoding Science,” event where I’ll be one of the speakers. They have him in an auditorium that holds several THOUSAND. They told me he sold out an 8,000 seat venue at Oklahoma State University a week ago. Is everyone following this? Has there EVER been a voice of science that is this big of a draw? The rise of his popularity is a potentially great opportunity for the science world. OR … a chance to undermine him as the National Academy of Science did to Carl Sagan. Could go either way.
OVERFLOW SEATING ONLY. This is a guy in his communication prime. Everywhere he goes now, he’s packing auditoriums of thousands of people.
PICKING UP WHERE I LEFT OFF YESTERDAY
USA Today mentioned a month ago, when Bill Nye “debated” creationist Ken Ham, that his speaking fee is now $50,000 to $75,000. Which is pretty staggering. But what’s more staggering is what I just heard — that he’s drawing MASSIVE crowds to his university appearances.
But why not. Here’s one thing I know — I keep talking to graduate students in our workshops — they pretty much all have a longstanding fondness for the guy.
It makes me think of a couple years ago when I visited the Ithaca Sciencenter and they told me about how they now have college students who come back to town to work with them specifically because they basically imprinted on the place as children and now have this warm, nostalgic fondness for it.
Same deal with Bill Nye. Today’s grad students were raised on Bill Nye the Science Guy. Even the journalism grad students at NYU two nights ago after my talk there were saying the same thing. The guy has put in the years. He is now THE voice of science that is TRUSTED and LIKED — the two things Daniel Kahneman said are most needed.
I sure hope the science world gets it this time.