On Tuesday, Bill Nye (the Science Guy) appeared on NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers to tell the story of how he and Neil deGrasse Tyson ended up taking that “Presidential Selfie” with President Obama. During his appearance he also discussed his friendship with Tyson—how they get together and drink wine and talk about women and space exploration—and his recent debate with creationist Ken Ham, and the need for much more science literacy in America:
We want to raise awareness of science literacy, specifically, in this case, science illiteracy—striking science illiteracy. And the reason I bring this up, you can hate me, you can hate everything, but science education is what leads to innovators. It leads to that kooky internet that the kids use, their electric computer machines…The Facebooking, and the tweeting, and the Instagramming—all that would not exist without our understanding of science…And then we would not be able to feed this many people around the world without understanding science. So this is deeply important to me, and I hope that in the coming years awareness will be raised, and voters and taxpayers will not let these people with these…wrong views about nature…try to get on school boards.
“I fight this fight out of patriotism,” Nye told me last year, regarding his war on anti-science politics. “We can’t have economic growth without basic investment in science and research. And we can’t have irresponsible school board members in Texas teaching that the earth is 10,000 years old. We can’t have us embracing scientific illiteracy.”
“He’s been instrumental in helping advance some of the president’s key initiatives to make sure we can out-educate, out-innovate, and out-compete the world,” an Obama administration official said. “The president lights up when he sees Bill,” another official mentioned.
Now here’s that “Presidential Selfie“: