Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Bill Nye the Science Guy has long been America’s spokesperson for science in pop culture. He’s also something of a Reddit folk hero.So, when his much anticipated “Ask Me Anything” came up on Reddit, people went crazy. It has nearly 12,000 comments.
Nye dished on a ton of topics — from his bowties to the improvement of America’s schools:
On the future of science in America
“We need a national common purpose, a goal we can achieve together analogous to landing people on the Moon (and returning him safely to Earth). I’d like us to have a completely renewable energy system conceived, designed, built, and used by every one of us in the U.S. We could lead the world in doing more with less. That effort would trickle up into every aspect of our lives, schools included.
“… Show then tell. Show them your passion. Science is the best ideas humans have had (so far). Let your people see it for themselves. Science Rules…. the universe, and that includes us.”
On how to improve America’s public schools
“Vote for improving schools every chance you get. If you’re a parent, get as involved in your kids’ education as you can…without troubling the teachers ;-). The longest journey begins with a single step. In my view, we have to support schools, which might be written $upport $chool$$$. That takes taxes, and that takes a majority of us believing in public education.”
On why there are so few scientists in government
“Governments, especially the U.S. government, is system of laws. Those are written and developed by people drawn to that business. Many scientists are drawn to other intellectual pursuits. As an engineer, I might rather be making things instead of talking about directing people’s behaviour. One of the things that makes the U.S. so attractive to immigrants is the sophistication and quality of our laws. Much as people like to complain. Our laws in the U.S. are better than than they are in much of the rest of the world.”
On the value of NASA
“NASA is the best investment we make for less than $18 billion. No one else can do what we’ll witness Sunday next when we land on Mars.”
Nye also answered some less-pressing questions about his personal life and his own future:
On how people view him
“I often stop and try to get it. I try to grasp the popularity and influence of the Science Guy show, but I’m not sure I do. If I may, I love you guys… If I go into Starbucks, and the people don’t know about my show, or my Planetary Society job, or my recent recognition from the Am. Society of Mech. Engineers, the coffee seems to be about the same price. These are all things I feel good about. How else should or would I feel? Hmm…”
On his legendary bowties
“When you see one you like, just buy it. If it’s good lookin’, someone is right behind you ready to snap it up. I find them at Nordstrom (the store and Rack). I have a couple dozen that Beau Ties of Vermont made into bows from straight ties with intriguing patterns. Astronomy2Go is a good source thereof. Right now, I’m diggin’ the slimline with arrow points. Ahh…”
On the chance of the “Bill Nye the Science Guy” show returning
“Yes, yes. But, it would have to be with the right producers, and it would have to be a less unfavorable contract. I put my heart and soul into that thing; everybody on the crew did. It was a unique time in TV history. It was exciting to be part of it. Let’s change the world.”
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