• Lia N. Rovira

Bill Nye: Resolute in the Face of Anti-Science

Bill Nye the Science Guy is a name that most of us grew up with hearing in classrooms, or at the very least, are familiar with by his contributions to major science projects at one point or another.

Today, he’s moving onto “something bigger,” of which he covers with detail in Bill Nye: Science Guy (2017) - a new documentary that I personally had the privilege of watching during the private screening at the Los Angeles Landmark Nuart Theatre, last year.

The documentary offered a piece of cinematic intimacy with the Science Guy, where viewers got to watch him tackle climate change, anti-evolutionists, and “selfie fatigue,” an assessment proven with the help of the film’s directors David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg.

The content of the film focused mainly on our Earth’s rising temperatures, and how significantly our human lifestyles impact it, with carbon dioxide levels rising on the same trend. Bill shared several of his efforts to illuminate this issue. One of which, included taking a trip to southern Greenland, where it’s too easy to witness the melting ice caps, as well as the ice-core studies, revealing climate temperatures of centuries past and our fossil-fuel-poisoned present.

In two other bold segments, he confronts AccuWeather forecaster Joe Bastardi in a resolute debate over human’s role in global warming, and challenges creationist Ken Ham to a fact-backed battle over whether teaching religion and anti-science to children is unjust.

During one scene, Bill says “As I stand here, the Juno spacecraft just went into orbit around Jupiter. It’s an extraordinary accomplishment of man’s understanding of the universe, and work in engineering and rocket science.” The camera pans over to Ham’s Museum of Creation and the Ark Encounter, whose exhibits present scenes of prehistoric humans, all Flinstone-like, cohabiting with dinosaurs, as well as a single ark cell shared between a pair of deer and pair of carnivorous sauropods. He continues with a gesture to the building - “Here, is anti-science.”

But not only was the documentary about Bill’s advocacy for change; he also included footage of LightSail 2, a highly anticipated advancement in space technology set to launch Spring of 2018.

LightSail was a dream that the incredibly respected astronomer Carl Sagan introduced: sending a small spacecraft, propelled solely by sunlight, out of Earth into its lower orbit. In 2015, our LightSail 1 spacecraft completed a shakedown cruise. And as soon as LightSail 2 launches aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy, we will then have attempted the first controlled solar sail flight, past LEO, and beyond.

This mission is entirely citizen-funded, and so getting to personally fund this project and be part of something that benefits future generations is one awesome feeling, which in addition to Bill Nye I lend my thanks for inspiring me and reminding me of how I’m so eager to spend the rest of my life pushing the envelope on our space horizons even further. You too can fund LightSail or another space mission by clicking here.

“I don’t have a PhD. But I talk to the experts and hold the evidence in my hands,” Bill claims. “We can’t have people denying science. If we raise a generation of kids that can’t think critically, we are headed for trouble.”

Less important, Bill also warns about the dreaded “selfie fatigue” - the strain of pausing for fan selfie after selfie when you’re an Emmy-winning scientist superstar. Again, he doesn’t mince words: “I’m pretty sure it shortens your life.”

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Source: Alvarado, David and Sussberg, Jason. Bill Nye: Science Guy. 2017. Documentary.

Citation: Rovira, Lia N. "Bill Nye: Resolute in the Face of Anti-Science." SkyFeed. 15 Jan, 2018. Web article.

#billnye #lightsail #planetarysociety #climatechange