Science educator and TV personality Bill Nye "The Science Guy" will appear at UF tonight to speak about his life as a TV scientist and current issues in science.

Nye will speak at the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in a speech funded by Accent, Student Government's speakers bureau. The show, which is free, starts at 8 p.m., and doors open at 7:15 p.m.

Nye, who graduated from Cornell University in 1977 with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, worked as a scientist for several years before transitioning into the world of entertainment.

The character "Bill Nye the Science Guy" first appeared on a late-night sketch show in which he performed science experiments with a comic twist.

Nye turned the skit into an educational TV show on PBS, which aired from 1993 to 1997 and won 28 Emmy awards.

In each of the show's 100 episodes, Nye focused on one concept or topic in science and made it interesting and comprehensible to children and young teens.

After "Bill Nye the Science Guy," Nye hosted two other science shows. Nye was the narrator of "100 Greatest Discoveries," which aired on The Science Channel in 2004.

In 2005, PBS produced 13 episodes of a more adult-themed science show called "The Eyes of Nye," which discussed topics such as "Evolution of Sex" and the dangers of nuclear waste.

Outside of TV, Nye has produced several patents, including a collapsible, water-filled magnifying glass. He is also the vice president of the Planetary Society, an organization that promotes space education and exploration.

Steven Blank, Accent chairman, said Accent paid ,32,500 for Nye to speak at UF.

"There's a phenomenal buzz on campus about the speech," Blank said. "Many students grew up watching Bill Nye and now will get to see him live."

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