Arts, Television

‘Bill Nye Saves the World’ Through Logic, Honest Dialogue

In Bill Nye Saves the World, the beloved scientist of everyone’s childhood gets to the bottom of things. Choosing pressing and controversial topics like climate change, GMOs, vaccinations, and life beyond earth, the show suggests nothing is off limits or beyond the realm of science. According to Nye, curiosity is part of what makes us human. It’s what drives us—the joy of discovery.

Incorporating famous guests, including Karlie Kloss, Zach Braff, and Desiigner, the show pulls from a great network of celebrities to articulate the importance of an expansive dialogue on these issues. On climate change, Kloss took a trip to Paris to speak with experts about how rising sea levels damaged ancient buildings and artifacts. Desiigner explained why his favorite chocolate or sushi may no longer be around if certain trends continue.

Nye elaborated on this point later, invoking more celebrity, as he set an overarching tone for his show.

“What, you thought I’d get a new TV show and not talk about climate change? Come on, for crying out loud, we’ve had world wars, pandemics, we’ve even had reality television, but global warming and climate change are way worse,” he said. “Paraphrasing my colleague Jay-Z, it’s not one problem, we’ve got 99 problems and they’re all … difficult.”

Nye employs a variety of segments that flow seamlessly together and help communicate nuanced messages to the audience. One of the most developed segments are panel discussions held with experts on the issue. Experts range from a large-scale industry farmer to a planetary protection engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab. Each guest contributes thoughtfully in their respective realms and have a unique take on any given issue.

In one episode, Nye speaks with NASA’s Moogega Stricker, who explains topics ranging from the “flashing bulb problem,” the search for extraterrestrial life, and his work with the 20/20 mission to Mars to ensure that involved parties abide by contamination and planetary protection rules.

In one segment, “Bill’s Need a Minute,” Nye gives his take on a specific issue backed with his scientific expertise. In one of these segments, Nye spoke about people buying into medical products that are scams. Cautioning viewers about “magic” substances that are not backed by empirical data, Nye outlined his argument.

“You could be doing yourself harm and no one would be the wiser,” he said. “All sorts of things are sold as dietary supplements that aren’t tested, that don’t need to be tested, and it wouldn’t matter except billions are spent on these things by people who are just hoping that this thing will do some magical things.”

Segueing out of informed opinion, Nye also tries to offer up solutions. He uses the scientific method to prove the points he proposes as remedies to the problems. One of the most interesting tests Nye did was about alternative medical treatments. Magnetic knee bands are said to help because blood has iron in it and, in theory, because blood has iron in it, it can draw blood to parts of your body to help them heal. The scientist disproved this by taking a magnet to his own blood with no result. This is because the iron in his blood is bound to a complex hemoglobin, rendering it nonmagnetic.

Nye has such a way with words He breaks difficult scientific subjects down into easy nuggets that people can understand, regardless of their level of experience. Through his use of humor, technology, and scientific expertise, he may be on his way to saving the world through informing the public of the most serious issues we face.

Featured Image By Netflix

April 26, 2017