Bill Nye is ‘the science teacher you wish you had,” according to a new documentary on his life and work. The film, Bill Nye: Science Guy, features the star of the 90’s kid’s TV show of the same name, his personal life, beliefs and how he viewed by his peers.
A description of the film describes Nye as “a man on a mission: to stop the spread of anti-scientific thinking across the world.” Nye has been very vocal in recent years about climate change and the impact it will have on future generations. Now the CEO The Planetary Society, an organization Carl Sagan, Nye has been a staunch advocate for “science, research, and discovery.” Science Guy gives audiences an intimate behind-the-scenes view of Nye who challenges policy makers and others on evolution, climate change and scientific research. In addition to exclusive interviews with Nye, directors David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg also interviewed Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ann Druyan, and others in the scientific community.
The filmmakers found that in order to have a truly deeper understanding of Nye, one really has to understand Carl Sagan. “All roads lead back to Sagan,” who was Nye’s teacher and mentor. The inter-generational relationship between the two becomes a focal point of the film. The film also shows Nye as he engages with those who deny climate change; his goal is not to change their minds, but to influence their supporters who may be willing to see a different point of view— one that is rooted in scientific methodology as opposed to theology or religious ideologies.
The film opens with what the directors and Nye, himself, hope viewers will leave understanding; a quote by Carl Sagan that reads, “Science is far from a perfect instrument of knowledge. It’s just the best we have. In this respect, as in many others, it’s like democracy.” The goal is for viewers to come in seeking truth, learn how truth is uncovered or discovered through research and to then continue on in their own quest for truth through science. As they acknowledge, science “isn’t perfect, but it’s the best we got.”
The PBS produced film is being shown in selected theaters across the country. For dates and locations, visit the film’s list of screenings.