While at South by Southwest Interactive, I had a chance to (briefly) interview one of my childhood heroes, Bill Nye the Science Guy.
Nye was about to evaluate inventions at an event for Quirky, a startup that helps turn inventions into commercial products, but I also asked him what he thought of the current startup craze — did he see a connection between excitement about startups and public interest in science, or are they two different things?
He told me:
They’re not separate at all — they’re intimately connected. All these startups are going to be based on technologies that depend on our discoveries in science. As they say, engineers — and I am an engineer, with a license — we use science to make things and solve problems. Everything that you can see in your world, even if you have a garden, got there because it came out of somebody’s head. And most of the people whose heads it came out of were engineers. So yes, technology and startups and science are intimately related.