New Bill Nye show covers controversial science topics

Written by: 
Adam Case

Bill Nye “The Science Guy’s” new Netflix series “Bill Nye Saves the World” premiered on April 24 and was met with negative reviews for being political and cheesy.

“With the right science and good writing, we’ll do our best to enlighten and entertain our audience. And, perhaps we’ll change the world a little,” said Bill Nye in a press release about his new talk show, ‘Bill Nye Saves the World.

A professor from BYU-Hawaii’s Natural Science Department anonymously said they felt Nye’s fight against bad science could be following a similar polarizing pattern intertwined with his politics. “One person’s bad science is another’s difference of opinion,” said the professor.

The professor also mentioned how Nye was an effective teacher in the “Science Guy” show because of his comedy background and ability to make science fun. However, he said Nye’s background in engineering and lack of credentials make him unqualified to discuss immensely complicated subjects such as climate change.

Nye said, “Since the start of the ‘Science Guy’ show, I’ve been on a mission to change the world by getting people everywhere excited about the fundamental ideas in science.

“Today, I’m excited to be working with Netflix on a new show where we’ll discuss the complex scientific issues facing us today with episodes on vaccinations, genetically modified foods, and climate change.”

After premiering, the show received some negative reviews. Polygon.com reported, “The insults vary, with some people upset that Nye didn’t go more in-depth with the topics he has chosen to include in the series. Others, many of whom live in various continents around the world and didn’t grow up with Nye, called out the show for being lame, corny, and trying too hard to fit in.”

In a political climate where “alternative facts” and “fake news” are discussed regularly, students said they found Nye’s show timely. Rachel Howden, a junior international culturals studies major from Utah, said, “Sometimes I feel frustrated and disappointed that people aren’t critically thinking and putting in the time to research their facts from valid sources. We need to stop believing the first Facebook post we read.”

Netflix said in a press release, “Each episode will tackle a topic from a scientific point of view, dispelling myths, and refuting anti-scientific claims that may be espoused by politicians, religious leaders, or titans of industry.”

Factchecker.org said, “Nye has a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Cornell. He also has six honorary doctorate degrees, including PhD’s in science from Goucher College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.” He also has worked for years in science education and advocacy, taught as a professor at Cornell, and acted as CEO of The Planetary Society. According to his biography on the Planetary Society website, Bill Nye started his career in engineering and had some experience with comedy. That eventually led into his role as "The Science Guy."

Siena Blackburn, an undeclared freshman from New York, remembered Nye’s old TV show. She considered his show to be “amazing” and loved watching it in her science classes as a kid.

Date Published: 
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Last Edited: 
Tuesday, May 16, 2017