Bill Nye

April 19, 2017

I am Bill Nye and I’m here to dare I say it…. save the world. Ask Me Anything!

Hi everyone! I’m Bill Nye and my new Netflix series Bill Nye Saves the World launches this Friday, April 21, just in time for Earth Day! The 13 episodes tackle topics from climate change to space exploration to genetically modified foods.

I’m also serving as an honorary Co-Chair for the March for Science this Saturday in Washington D.C.


Now let’s get to it!

I’m signing off now. Thanks everyone for your great questions. Enjoy your weekend binging my new Netflix series and Marching for Science. Together we can save the world!

In your opinion, why are so many eager to discredit climate change brought about by human activities? What are the most obvious signs that they are ignoring?

The fossil fuel industry has successfully introduced the idea that ±2% is somehow the same as ±100%. Just as the cigarette/cancer deniers, did, only global and affecting billions rather than millions. Sooner we embrace renewable energy sources, the sooner we can bring the military home and be energy independent. Let's go!

Hi Bill, thanks for doing this - I've got a question, I know that maybe it's not specifically in your field, but I would still appreciate your thoughts as someone trying to "save the world".

To what extent do you envisage automation replacing common jobs anytime soon, on a large scale? If this is accomplished do you think it will be a current player (amazon/google/tesla), something completely left-field no one expected, or a community effort from thousands of small to medium sized enterprises working together?


Self-driving vehicles seem to me to be the next Big Thing. Think of all the drivers, who will be able to do something more challenging and productive with their work day. They could be erecting wind turbines, installing photovoltaic panels, and running distributed grid power lines. Woo hoo!

Hey Mr. Science guy! I grew up watching your show and it definitely influenced my path towards engineering.

My question is what science fact absolutely blows your mind?

You and I are made of the same material as the stars. We are star dust. Therefore, you and I are at least one way that the universe knows itself. Cue the spooky music.

First, thanks for making science class so great in middle school. I still have that theme song stuck in my head.

What is our worst case scenario assuming nothing gets done to save the world and what does the timeline look like? How much is my life going to be affected? My kids? I know we need to do something, but what if it doesn't work out?

The quality of life for people everywhere will go down. There will be less food and less clean water available in the developed and the developing world. It's reasonable that this will lead to conflict: more violence, more war. Here in the super-developed US, people will have to abandon homes in Miami, Galveston, Norfolk, and other coastal towns. It will lead to defaulted mortgages and people looking for jobs inland. Where will those jobs come from? Sooner we get to work the better.

Hi Bill!! You're doing great work.

My questions for you are:

What is your favourite element and favourite subatomic particle?

What scientific mystery do you most want to solve?

Favorite element? Don't have one, but I am fond of the compound water. In fact, now that I've sipped it, I don't think I could live without it. Subatomic particle? Not sure, but I'd sure like to know if there are particles associated with dark matter. Darkons?

Actually, I have a big question for you!

I'm sure you still very clearly remember your debate with creationist Ken Ham. I'm a Christian, but personally do not agree with his views on creation.

I'm more of a Christian scientist in that I chalk up the creativity of science to God. He's responsible for the Big Bang billions of years ago, he's responsible for the creativity behind evolution, and all of the stuff that makes science so awesome are like his fingerprints.

Now you, as the awesome scientist that you are, do you think that there is any room in science for that line of thinking? Has it ever crossed your mind that there may be a higher power at work? I won't take offense at your answer.

I can't, no one can, prove there is no higher power. It's the age-old philosophical point that one cannot prove a negative. Whether or not there is a higher power, there is no question that the Earth cannot possibly 6,000 years old. Teaching kids that idea is bad for our future. But worse, is teaching kids that the Earth is cooling rather than warming. All this is made possible in Kentucky by their having elected a creationist governor, who appointed a creationist cabinet, which was in turn enabled by a creationist judge. In any other state or commonwealth, the non profit businesses run by Mr. Ham would be in conflict with out First Amendment. it will take years to undo the wrong-headed teaching of the kids in the Commonwealth. But the longest journey begins with but a single step. Thanks for writing. If you are really in touch with a Higher Power, ask her or him to straighten these Kentuckians (and immigrant Australian) out.

Can you please run for president?

Traditionally, we hired people to be President, who had some experience in government. So, I'm probably not the right guy for the job. I hope more and more of us can now see that governing is not the same as running business, or trying to run a business. The government cannot declare bankruptcy six times, for example. A U.S. president is not like a king. He or she cannot decree laws unilaterally. It takes consensus, and that is generally not quite the same as a negotiation for a piece of property. I hope more and more of us can see that governing is more complicated than closing a single business deal.

Hey Bill,

What are your thoughts on animal agriculture and the promotion of a vegan diet as to reduce our impact on climate change?

Plant-based diets are the future. I look forward to food preparations that are not "derivative bits," as we say in comedy writing. Instead of "coconut bacon," for example, I hope there is just delicious stand-alone coconut preparations. Cooking is a competitive business. I look forward to the emergence of new plant-based dishes.

Bill, What are your thoughts on Elon Musk and what he is doing for the scientific world through Tesla and SpaceX?

He and is companies are shaking things up in a great way. Some disclosure, he served on the Board of The Planetary Society for a while, but has had to recuse himself as SpaceX became Yuge. (I gave him a ride to the airport once.) The Tesla outperforms conventional gas-powered cars (as does my new all-electric Chevy Bolt). If the reused lower stage of the Falcon rockets proves profitable, it will change space exploration in great way. Go Elon! (He's an immigrant to the U.S., bt-dubs.)

Where do you shop for ties? I grew up in a bow tie family. I want a Bill Nye Science Guy Signature Bow tie!

Check out Nick Graham. com. Consider buying our ties!

Bill Nye! My AAAS membership led me to the IDP Career Test at I am 27 years old and am finally considering a college education. My top result is "Science Education for non-scientists" of which I believe you have ample experience. How would you suggest entering this career field? Would any specific college major help or will any science based major suffice? Would you ever consider letting an individual, such as myself, job shadow you for a couple days? Lastly, do you plan to attend this year's StarTalk Saturnalia party? I'm also a member of the Planetary Society and have to thank you and your team for your science advocacy! I look forward to watching "Bill Nye Saves the World"; keep up the great work!

Bonus Question: Have you heard of "The Show About Science" Podcast run by 6 year old (Yes only 6!) Nate Butkus? I would love to hear you interviewed on his show! You have been an inspiration since my youth; I know you'd inspire him also.

Be sure you can do algebra. It is a key to success in a technical field. I work in a writers room these days. If you want to do what I do now, look for a job as a television writer. Thanks for being a member of The Planetary Society. We advance space science and exploration. Let's know the cosmos and our place within it!

What do you think about the lack of Scotland players in the British Lions squad for the New Zealand tour?

For us on the outside, it has always been a bit of mystery that Scotland has separate teams from Britain. Carry on.

Hey Bill,

Do you think your TV show has helped or hurt the messages you're trying to spend? Does your reputation make people listen or tune out?

I hope people coming of age have a respect for the process of science in part because of my show(s). If not, I guess I've failed, but I did and continue to do my best. Checkout Bill Nye Saves The World, which starts on Friday on Netflix. There are 13 episodes. Binge 'em, and turn it up loud!

Hey there Bill!

Was curious, what was your favorite episode of the old Bill Nye the Science Guy show? There must have been one episode you did that stood out to you more than others.

Nope. When you get your job as a dancer on broadway, don't ever tell people who your favorite dance partner is. Otherwise, you won't get a chance to dance with anyone else. There is something in every episode that I just love. The spit take in Ocean Life cracks me up as does the screaming skull I'm holding in Bones & Muscles. And, who doesn't love passing out in a fighter plane pulling 7.5 g's?

Hey Bill, what's your take on our chances of becoming a multi-planetary civilization in the foreseeable future?

Infinitesimal. If you think you want to live on Mars, try living in the dry valleys of Antarctica for a few years. And to play fair, you have to bring your own air to breathe. Inhaling the local atmosphere on Mars would kill you in an instant. You'd never go outside, not really. You'd live in some dome, and when you go out, you have to be in a spacesuit, which is just another dome, only really tight fitting. Oh, and there is absolutely nothing to eat.

We've heard the chant of your name even wayyy over here in New Zealand. :) Just a small question. Favourite astronomy point in the night sky?

Thanks for your support. I don't have a favorite (favourite). Saturn is beautiful. And, I am fond of the Earth's Moon.

Mr. Nye, How tall are you?


Thanks so much for being here. Any chance of working with Disney again on the Energy pavilion at EPCOT? Lots of people would love to see an update based on everything we know about the subject now as opposed to twenty years ago - especially if you had something to say.

Not my choice. Please ask the Disneynians to refresh the ride. It was a fun job. It was sponsored by Exxon, while they still owned a division that made bearings for wind turbine generators, and before their climate denial documents from 1977 were discovered and published in the New York Times. I'd love to do a new show though.

Bill, what was it like collaborating with Tyler, the Creator for the theme song for the new show? What made you choose him initially? Do you have an ongoing friendship with him?

Oh we hang out all the time. He comes by The Planetary Society; we talk about the cosmos and our place in space.

Bill, Should I continue being a paramedic or just go for it and try to become an emergency department physician?

Edit: spelling. The ambulance gets bouncy and I got a 911 call as soon as I typed this.

Go for it! People seldom regret what they do; they, or we, regret what we don't do!

This interview was transcribed from an "ask me anything" question and answer session with Bill Nye conducted on Reddit on 2017-04-19. The Reddit AMA can be found here.