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8 Facts About Bill Nye

The Secret Life of Scientists and EngineersThe Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers

Have you heard? On March 6th, “Secret Life” is telling the story of how Bill Nye became the science guy. Meanwhile, we’ve gathered eight fun facts about Bill to whet your palate. Some are iconic, and some are obscure. Hopefully, these little nuggets will sustain you mentally, physically, and scientifically until we tell the rest of the story next month.

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Bill is a strong endorser of bow ties. Watch our special sneak preview to find out what bow ties can do for you.

2. He is also an inventor. Bill holds the patent for a new and improved ballet slipper, and for an educational magnifying glass created by filling a clear plastic bag with water.


He is obsessed with sundials. Bill inherited a love of time-telling from his father, who began making sundials to stay sane while in a Japanese prisoner of war camp during World War II. Ned Nye passed his love of sundials to Bill, who eventually convinced NASA to include “MarsDials” aboard the Spirit and Opportunity Mars exploration rovers. Find out more in this TedEd video .

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Don't worry. Our profile will cover the dancing.

4. His obscure acting work is not to be missed. He had a non-speaking role as Christopher Lloyd’s assistant on the short-lived Back to the Future: The Animated Series , and a guest role with Peter MacNicol (Meryl Streep’s neighbor from Sophie’s Choice ) on the CBS series Numb3ers .

5. He tackles the issues head on. Watch his recent, much-discussed debate with creationist Ken Ham, and his sparring match with congresswoman Marsha Blackburn over climate change on Meet the Press .

6. Bill Nye the Science Guy is not just for kids. Revisit the pilot episode . Brought to you by “air,” it reminds us that the show is entertaining for adults and children alike. Warning: that catchy opening number may haunt your dreams.

7. He is a music video star. Bill pops up around minute one in pop-punk duo Palmdale’s music video for “Here Comes the Summer.”

8. Bill has been the subject of satire. Like this article in The Onion claiming that Bill was killed in a massive vinegar/baking-soda explosion, and this xkcd comic strip (warning: some strong language is used in the comic).

Want to know more? Bill’s full profile is premiering March 6th. Stay tuned.

Original funding for "The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers" was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.