Bill Nye. (Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
You may have seen Bill Nye, famed 1990s “science guy,” lately on YouTube, debating creationism with Answers in Genesis founder Ken Ham, or appearing on Amy Schumer, revealing the signals the universe sends to 20-something women. Rounding out his comeback as a crusader for science is his television return, this spring, in Netflix’s Bill Nye Saves the World. The talk show’s stated goal is to “refute anti-scientific claims that may be espoused by politicians, religious leaders, or titans of industry,” reaffirming Nye as one of America’s most accessible and entertaining public authorities on all things evolution, climate change, and astronomy.
There are good reasons to believe Americans could use Nye more than ever. Last year, the Pew Research Center and the American Association for the Advancement of Science found vast gaps between scientists’ and the general public’s knowledge, views, and beliefs on topics like climate change, evolution, and the Big Bang theory. In a recent study by the Annenberg Public Policy Center, 88 percent of Americans said that they supported labeling genetically modified organisms despite the fact that more than half of Americans reported that they had only a “fair or poor understanding” of them. Bill Nye Saves the World will touch on vaccinations, genetically modified foods, and climate change, Nye said in a statement for Netflix in August. Come spring, we’ll all have good reason to chant “Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill!” once more.
This story appears in the March/April 2017 issue of Pacific Standard.