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Bill Nye, Famous Guy

Bill Nye, known to many because of his children's TV program that aired in the 1990s, has gone from mechanical engineer to hosting Bill Nye the Science Guy and now to "a warrior for science," the New York Times writes. Nye, the Times adds, uses science to rebut claims denying global warming or evolution.

"He will very calmly tear them apart," Phil Plait from the Bad Astronomy blog at Slate tells the Times. "His big advantage is, he's right. We know that climate change is real. We know creationism is wrong. These are no longer scientific controversies."

And Nye has developed a following among the college crowd. The Times notes that at a recent lecture at Iowa State University, students began lining up for the evening event in the afternoon, and about a thousand people were turned away from the 3,000-seat auditorium.

"He was probably the one who inspired me to keep going in the science career track," says animal ecology major Betsy Salmon.