Betabeat had just settled in for a hot Friday night date with the Internet when a friend sent us an email with the subject line, “!!!”. Enclosed in the body was a link to a Reddit Ask me Anything featuring none other than our childhood idol Bill Nye the Science Guy.
Mr. Nye is somewhat of a Reddit folk hero, a noted target of nostalgic awe whose esteem on Reddit may be eclipsed only by the swag-as-hell physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. An AMA from Bill Nye has been a long awaited Reddit event. The fact that it’s happening on a Friday night is also probably of no consequence to the majority of Redditors (this reporter included).
Last night, gangs of glammed-out New York techies and science enthusiasts trekked uptown to the Rose Center for Earth and Space to take in a stunningly optimistic program presented by Gizmodo and the American Museum of Natural History. The event was planned and hosted by Gawker Media founder Nick Denton (with the help of Brew PR), who appeared so eager about the “celebration of technology and discovery” that he tweeted about it numerous times prior to the event, published a grandiose blog post on Gizmodo reveling in the glorious achievements of science, and sent out an email to attendees: “This evening should be inspiring and fun,” he wrote.
“I’ve never seen Nick so excited for a social event,” one colleague remarked.
And who could begrudge Mr. Denton his excitement? The event was everything he claimed it would be–and perhaps more, depending on how many free cocktails you indulged in. Hosted by Ellen V. Futter, the president of the American Museum of Natural History, Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley and Mr. Denton himself, the gathering was as swank and inspiring as expected.