Bill Nye the Science Guy is coming back to TV!
As of next spring, Nye will be on Netflix in his new show “Bill Nye Saves the World.” It’ll be a talk show where Nye uses his trademark wit and directness to hash out science topics and dispel myths. “Special guests will appear in the show’s episodes, too,” reports The Verge, “and you can [also] expect to see some cool experiments and lab demonstrations.”
In short, it’s the perfect science show for Netflix. It’s also the perfect showcase for Nye.
Nye is best known for hosting the PBS kids show Bill Nye the Science Guy and teaching kids science with wacky experiments and skits. But he’s so much more than that. Combining his engineering background (he developed a hydraulic pressure resonance suppressor for Boeing that’s still being used in its 747 planes) and media experience, with his trademark humor (he was a stand-up comic before PBS), Nye has become one of the most influential science communicators of our time. He’s also the CEO of The Planetary Society, helping kickstart its LightSail project. Plus, he can totally rock a bowtie.
Not convinced? Here are 7 reasons to watch Nye on Netflix:
1. He’s not afraid of controversy
Few science communicators have been brave enough to discuss political issues. Nye is. He jumped into the abortion debate with calm, care, and facts, and added a critical angle to the debate. Watch here.
2. He lets facts determine his opinions
“Just think about,” is a phrase Nye uses a lot. He may hold certain opinions, but he’s open to changing them if facts prove otherwise. Even on GMOs. That openness is rare in public figures, and it’s a good trait to learn. Watch and learn here:
3. He ain’t afraid of no ghosts
Nye believes that no subject is free from scientific scrutiny because ours is a world founded on scientific principles. He may not be sure where the supernatural fits in, but darned if he won’t try to figure it out. Watch and learn.
4. He takes pop-culture seriously
Nye doesn’t treat pop culture as fluff. He recognizes that ideas and concepts that capture mainstream culture are rooted in some of our deepest insecurities. That’s why he pondered the thought experiment of whether or not we live in a video game simulation.
5. He’s open and approachable
Just like with politics, many science figures are loathe to weigh in on religious or moral ideas. Not Nye. When an anonymous question came in about the evolutionary purpose of homosexuality, he pondered what he knew and answered with dignity and respect. When was the last time you heard a public figure talk about homosexuality that way?
6. He’s always rational
As exciting as the idea of alien contact is, Nye can’t help himself from responding to it with facts. When Jesse asks how world religious leaders would react to aliens landing on Earth, Nye veritably interrupts himself with facts about why the idea of aliens landing here is a longshot. He can’t answer a question if there’s no plausible answer, and he’d rather be factually accurate than misleading.
7. He’s a smooth operator
Death is a difficult, emotional topic to talk about. And yet, Nye tackles it with respect and reason. He delves into some hard facts of evolution here, but he also manages to be incredibly encouraging. [Bonus: He’s also smooth in the co-ordination department: exhibit A, he competed on Dancing with the Stars]
In short, Bill Nye is great at inspiring and explaining big ideas, which is something we love at Big Think. We can’t wait to see him do more of it. We think you will, too. He’s coming to Netflix in 2017.