William Sanford "Bill" Nye, popularly known as Bill Nye the Science Guy, is an American science educator, comedian, television host, actor, writer, scientist and former mechanical engineer, best known as the host of the Disney/PBS children's science show Bill Nye the Science Guy and for his many subsequent appearances in popular media as a science educator.
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Bill Nye here! Even at this hour of the morning, ready to take your questions.
My new book is Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation.
Victoria's helping me get started. AMA!
Update: Well, thanks everyone for taking the time to write in. Answering your questions is about as much fun as a fellow can have. If you're not in line waiting to buy my new book, I hope you get around to it eventually. Thanks very much for your support. You can tweet at me what you think.
And I look forward to being back!
I felt deep concern for the future of Kentucky science students.
That's what was going through my mind.
What are your thoughts on Epic Rap Battle's [Bill Nye VS Sir Isaac Newton] (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yis7GzlXNM)?
Let's face it, I won.
He's only Isaac Newton.
In your opinion, what is the most important discovery in the last 10 years?
That the universe is not slowing down in its expansion, it's accelerating.
And, do you know why?
NOBODY KNOWS WHY!
How are you able to remain so calm on TV when being interviewed by people who so blatantly remain closed off to logical discussions?
I find it very admirable, you'd be great working in IT.
Thanks for inspiring millions, myself included!
Thank you for your kind words.
Staying calm is my business.
And it seems to me I'm working in IT right now. Coincidence?
What would be the first thing you would change about the way the world is run today if you were to spontaneously.. dare I say it.. TAKE OVER THE WORLD???
We would have a Carbon Fee. We would charge everybody who produces carbon dioxide a fee, and that fee would go into a central fund, and be redistributed. This is how it's done, in of all places, Alaska. The model for this exists in a very conservative state. So it is very reasonable that we could expand this model to the country and then the world. The average citizen of the US would receive, would get back, about $3,500. Oil companies have already built this fee in- they are planning for it, they know it's coming sooner or later, it's in all their financial plans. If we could see this moment, we could change the world.
The big idea I want everybody in the US to keep in mind, especially our politicians who got elected yesterday, is that the world isn't gonna be able to do anything about climate change until the United States leads us. If the United States were leading the world in addressing climate change, it would be addressed in a heartbeat.
Let's get going.
Hey Bill! Im a huge fan and currently an undeclared freshman in college because I cant decide between a mechanical engineering degree or something in a more general science, such as physics or biology. Got any advice on what I should do?
If you are a tinkerer, consider mechanical engineering.
If you experience the joy of discovery, look into something called engineering physics.
With that said, I love it all!
As a freshmen, I'm sure you don't have to decide yet. Take some courses and see what you think.
Would you ever entertain doing the Reading Rainbow and reviving Bill Nye, The Science Guy online for a new generation to learn from you?
I'd do Reading Rainbow anytime! LeVar Burton is an acquaintance of mine.
And I'm always looking for a new TV show.
You have inspired many children to see the fun in learning about science for many years now.
What do you feel is next for the world of edutainment?
My movie. It's about a historical figure who changed the world by teaching himself mathematics. I'm very excited to share his story with the world, and the deal is pending so I can't talk too much more about it. But that's what i want to do next, and that will be edutainment.
Hey Bill! Thanks so much for the AMA, I just wanted to know: do you have a favorite episode of “Bill Nye the Science Guy”?
If you decide to become a dancer on Broadway, never say who your favorite dance partner is, because members of the media will presume you never want to dance with anybody else.
In the same way, I will never say I have a favorite episode of the Science Guy show.
HOWEVER, getting a ride in the FA-18 hornet Fighter Plane was pretty cool.
And scuba diving in Hawaii was not bad either.
If there will be a second season to Cosmos, would you like to be the host if Neil deGrasse Tyson steps down?
I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. Why would Neil step down? Neil's a dear friend of mine, so we'd have to take a meeting.
I am a senior in mechanical engineering at a well known engineering school interested in sustainable design. How do you think the world is handling the issue of sustainability today? And are we doing enough to try to make a difference in terms of sustainable engineering practices?
First of all, we are clearly not doing enough.
I want YOU to invent the better electricity storage device, the better battery, and I want you to invent a more efficient way to desalinate water. If you can do either or both of those things, you could utterly change the world.
I'm a big fan of your ride at Epcot, though it's a bit dated. If you could go back and update it, what would you change about it?
I would emphasize climate change distinctly. The sponsors on that ride were quite nervous about it 20 years ago.
What major scientific discovery from before living memory do you wish you had witnessed or been a part of?
As intriguing as that sounds, I would prefer to be part of the next scientific discovery, which I hope involves low-energy desalinization of water, better batteries, or the true nature of dark energy and dark matter.
What is your opinion of Senator Inhofe recent re-election and his post as Chairman of the Sentate Environment and Public Works committee?
I would prefer that he had stuck to his original plan, which was to retire. Although he doesn't mean to, he's leaving the world worse than he found it.
What's your favorite planet?
Earth. Earth is my favorite planet.
All my friends are here, and I stay here for the air.
Mr. The Science Guy, Is it more important to learn the practice or the philosophy of science?
The process of science is a vital idea for all of us.
If I understand your question, the philosophy of science is inherent in the process. This is to say, you think critically, you draw a conclusion based on evidence, but we all pursue discovery based on our observations.
That's where science starts.
What is your favorite science fact?
You and I are made of stardust.
We are the stuff of exploded stars.
We are therefore, at least 1 way that the Universe knows itself.
That, to me, is astonishing.
I'm currently in my chem lab while posting this question; I am a biology major. Over time it becomes increasingly harder to try to figure out what to do as a profession or to even keep this major. Do you have any life changing advice?
Follow your passion.
And when you're in that lab, keep in mind that it's all done with molecules.
Hi Bill! Can you explain your username?
My father was, and I am, fascinated by sundials.
Aside from Science, what is your favorite subject?
Mr. Nye, have you ever thought of running for the presidency of the United States? I think you would be surprised by how much of a populist campaign you could build in 2016.
Haha. I've thought about it.
I've also thought about jumping head-first into a pile of ice cubes from the Golden Gate Bridge.
Hey Bill ! I will.be coming to see you on Friday in NYC ! Can't wait to read your book ! My question is what do you think of schools telling their students that evolution is not the only choice when it comes to science ?
Well, first of all, that's wrong. Evolution is the fundamental idea in all of life science. So I've taken it on as an important issue for the future of the US, and for all of humankind. I'm not kidding...
Hi, Bill! I grew up watching your show every day on PBS after school - wouldn't miss it for anything. I think it's one of the early reasons why I developed a strong interest in math and physics. Now at age 30 and with young children of my own, we've watched and rewatched those classic episodes. It's pretty awesome when one of your child's earliest verbal requests are "bill nye...science guy". So a great big thank you for that.
I'd just like to ask:
1) Who came up with the format of the show? I always thought the integration of the comical announcer, science parody songs, and the retro science video clips used in transitions were great touches.
(Funny story - the first time I heard the real "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana, I thought it was going to be the song about air pressure from Bill Nye).
2) I read that you applied to NASA every so often but were denied likely for not having a Ph.D. I'm guessing your honorary degrees don't count, but is this something that you still push for?
3) What's your favorite place on Earth that you've visited, either professionally or on vacation? Personally, I've visited Iceland, and it's hard to imagine any place being more geologically pristine, varied, and fascinating.
P.S. Just missed your commencement speech at Johns Hopkins (my alma mater) by only 2 years!
1) Three of us - Jay McKenna, Erren Gottlieb, and me.
2) I don't believe I was denied for not having a PhD. That's a joke I enjoy. I think after Christa McAuliffe got killed, NASA was reluctant to experiment with another science educator in space.
3) A key idea is that because life is so short, we have to enjoy every moment. And I'm in New York right now and loving it. I was in California yesterday, I loved that too! I look forward to snorkeling again, somewhere, sometime soon.
Hi Bill! Is there an art form to taking a great selfie?
From a scientific point of view: What kind of bear is best?
The different species of bears are a product of evolution. Each is uniquely suited to his or her environment.
Did I mention my book, Undeniable? Hahaha! I crack myself up!
Although, as a Cornellian, I have to remind all of us: GO BIG RED BEARS!
hi Bill, whats for supper?
I don't know. I'm going to a banquet. I'll play the hand I'm dealt.
What are your thoughts on interstellar travel?
The trouble is, there's a lot of space in space. As a start, please check out the LightSail Project on Planetary.org.
Working together, we can change the world.
Hello. Bill, my son was diagnosed with autism and I was curious if there was any autism friendly children's books showing the amazing side of astronomy and science? And if not, if you were looking into the future to publishing any books of that nature or for any young children audience? I was a huge fan of your show as a child and have been learning about what you do now and science and biology. Sincerely, Will.
Although there may be a few, I don't know of any books as specific as the ones you seek.
I recommend you get a home planetarium. And just turn that on. And see if it turns him on to science.
What's your opinion of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general? Do you think it can achieve widespread use, or is it just a fad?
Take a night off and enjoy 4 beers on me. /u/changetip private (the bot will message you with a link to collect it)
If it's not bitcoin, it'll be something. The future of commerce is going to be all electronic. The gold standard was a fine idea, but electronic changes of funds and credits will be the future.
Speaking for myself, I want bitcoin in my analog watch, somehow, someday soon. But i want an analog watch. Not everybody wants that. It's not for everybody!
Do you know about the Reddit Secret Santa? And if so, are you participating? Imagine getting a present form Bill Nye.
Well, what people need is to subscribe to my Quarterly box! Subscribe to my Quarterly Box to honor Isaac Newton's birthday.
And yes! I'll do it.
Hi, Bill, what kind of things can we learn from New Horizons's encounter with Pluto next summer?
We don't know! That's why we're going out there.
When you explore, 2 things will happen.
You will make discoveries, and you will have an adventure.
Come next July, please tune in to Planetary.org.
Hi Bill, you and /u/GovSchwarzenegger are big crusaders on Climate Change awareness. What's the latest scientific threat we should be alarmed about and what can we do from keeping our planet from termination?
Climate Change is the most important issue facing humankind today.
A clear but troubling feature of nature is that the earth will be here no matter what you or I do.
We want to preserve the earth's ecosystems for us, for us humans.
What are your thoughts on Pluto being renamed a planet?
I am asking your scientific opinion because I am currently weeding out all the pre-2006 juvenile books at the library that say it is a planet, and it has been on my mind.
As you may know, I would like Pluto to be - instead of the last among the traditional planets - the first among a new class of objects we would call "The Plutoids."
That people get so bent out of shape about this is fascinating.
And I would not bother weeding out books in the library. Instead, educate library users that when the book is old, the information in it is old. It's not a good or bad thing, it's just the way of the universe.
If someone were to make a movie about you, who would you like to see play as you?
Some extraordinary good-looking, charming young man.
Hollywood must be lousy with 'em!
Mr. Nye, I grew up watching your shows and your bowties have greatly influenced my choice in neckwear. Do you have a favorite bowtie?
You know, you can't have a favorite bow tie! You find the right bow tie for the right occasion for the right company (the people you're with).
That is the art of clothing. We are very fortunate to be living in a time when so many of us can afford a wardrobe.
Are there any plans to bring back ~~the~~ "Bill Nye the science guy"?
because that would be the greatest thing in the world and it would give me more hope for future generations. Every kid should grow up watching that show.
No plans to bring back The Science Guy as such. I'm always locking for another television opportunity to do a new and somewhat different show. Near as I can tell, kids in school today still grow up watching The Bill Nye The Science Guy Show.
Which is very gratifying.
Who is your scientific idol, what past or present scientist do you admire the most?
Michael Faraday. He not only made discoveries, he shared them with the world. And like me, he spoke English. Which helps me appreciate him.
who would be at your dream dinner?
I don't think I've met her yet.