9:10 p.m. Eastern – Via Twitter, Bill Nye Retweets that he will be on The Nightly Show tonight (Wednesday). This is a big science night on late night. Assuming it’s a panel segment, the Zika virus and/or the water problems in Flint may be up for discussion.
Original Post The Late Show held back on announcing most of its guests this week, and among the latest announced names is a return scientific guest. String theorist Brian Greene returns to The Late Show tonight (Wednesday). Perhaps another science demonstration is in order. My best guess is gravitational waves, which were recently in the news, and confirm one of Einstein’s theories. Einstein was the focus of Greene’s last demonstration for Colbert.
There are no other new guest announcements, but tonight is also the appearance of the cast of The Big Bang Theory, many of whom play scientists or engineers, will be on with Conan O’Brien.
There have already been scientific topics in the late night shows this week. The Nightly Show and @midnight both covered the Zika virus. On February 22 @midnight noticed this Jamaican musical PSA about avoiding the virus. On the 23rd The Nightly Show addressed the implications of the virus on the use of artificial contraceptives in Latin America.
@midnight launched its February 23rd show covering a minor wrinkle in the conflict between the government and Apple over access to the company’s encryption system – the promise by virus company namesake John McAfee to personally break the phone so as to avoid forcing a ‘backdoor’ into the system that would weaken everyone’s security. McAfee has not been affiliated with the company (since renamed) for several years, and the legal troubles alluded to in the @midnight piece likely prompted his inclusion in the show.
Finally, an item that may not make it into the late night monologues, but has potential. With baseball in spring training, interesting stories aren’t quite here yet. So when Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Josh Collmenter was teaching physics in the clubhouse, it got the attention of several sports outlets (in print and on television). Collmenter says that his fellow players dictated the content of his presentation, and he has done lectures on idioms and history. He does prepare for the lessons, and the MLB.com reporter following the team, Steve Gilbert, has been Tweeting photos and video clips (H/T Keith Olbermann). Unfortunately the audio is poor and the photos don’t make Collmenter’s whiteboard easy to read.