Bill Nye and Chuck Nice in the StarTalk All-Stars studio.
Bill Nye and Chuck Nice in the StarTalk All-Stars studio.

Science Literacy and Alternative Facts, with Bill Nye

Bill Nye and Chuck Nice in the StarTalk All-Stars studio.

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About This Episode

In a world clouded by alternative facts, science is here to make things clear. Bill Nye is back on StarTalk All-Stars with comic co-host Chuck Nice and special guest Ross Andersen, the Senior Editor of The Atlantic, where he oversees all things science, technology and health. Listen and learn as we delve into a discussion on science literacy and the search for truth. Hear why Ross believes people are still optimistic about science despite the politicizing of hot-button issues. Explore how infusing science with patriotic pride might solve cognitive dissonance and political disagreement. You’ll also hear our panel contemplate methods on how to have civil discussions with people who have opposing ideas and who argue based on false knowledge. Find out some of the sources available that offer quality science literature online and in print. Discover how some scientific causes can become mixed up in the battle of political identity. Learn why the denial of climate change science may lead to the United States surrendering its leading global positon in scientific study and research. All that, plus, fan-submitted Cosmic Queries that range from, “Is social media making us dumber?” to, “What are the odds of Bill and Neil reaching out to the administration to propose goals for space exploration?”

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: Science Literacy and Alternative Facts, with Bill Nye

In This Episode

Music in This Episode

Episode Topics

  • Inspiration

    IMO, it is no point to find an answer or even talk about why some people
    won’t believe in climate change. They just won’t believe in fact and
    that is it. You guys should NEVER try to proof how wrong they are. They
    don’t care how wrong they are.

    The bigger point which I may be
    wrong but I think you guys should push more / talk more / point out how
    people can economically benefit from renewable technology. If people
    want to put food on a table, then point out and amplify a new better and
    faster way to put food on their dinner table. I see Bill talk with
    Fox’s Tucker Carlson in his show and I think it is such a waste of
    opportunity for Bill to go on with that guy the way Bill did.
    Because
    America is one of the world worst polluter per capita, and when America
    decides to stay with the old n dirty technology, it affects everyone in
    the world including me that is why I was so upset with the US’s right
    wing nut, and I wanted to understand why they think the way they do so I
    listen to Fox news talk a few hour every day.. I got to admit after a
    few month of listen to FOX… on the clement change’s war, you guy will
    never win over them if you guys still keep doing / taking the way you
    are.

    “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
    And
    how long has you guy been trying to talk to them the same way or
    similar pattern you are doing in this show? Has it been working so far?
    If not, it’s the time to change.

    You have to learn from… TRUMP!
    If you want to get support from them, listen to them. Respect them and
    try to understand them. Well… understand them can be hard… I am
    still have a very hard time understanding them too, these people are
    pro-life but also pro military, pro capital punishment… well.., anyway
    stop make fun of them. Don’t even point out how wrong they are, ok?
    They want to put food on a dinner table? Show them a better way.
    They don’t believe in climate change? Ask them why they would want to pollute the god giving world.
    And
    it is no point to interview fact based journalist, but it will be
    better to interview a psychologist to find a better way to effectively
    communicate with this people. or invite Tucker to this show. If he
    chicken out then makes sure you tweet that he is a coward. You brave
    enough to go there, but he is not brave enough to come here when you
    just want to talk. This is a common technique people at FOX like Bill O’
    uses. I bet Tucker won’t dare coming to your show b/c he knows he is a
    coward and a Neanderthal. If he comes to your show make sure you respect
    him more than he did to you but at the same time make sure you hit him
    at the core of his believe and make sure he emotionally humiliated by
    “his own” logic which is not working. And make sure his audiences know
    it via social Medias. There are many many ways to do this if you just
    listen to them for a month. You will find their believe pattern and you
    will find a teaching to talk to them.
    It is all about communication technique, not how much you know about science, not how many PhD you have.

    Otherwise,
    YOU, science community in the USA, you are losing argument. And when
    you lose, America stays dirty, consume more and more energy, produce
    more waste; it affects everyone in the world.

  • Bill Watson

    If you had the settled scientific truth, Bill Nye, why’d you lie, lie lie. You said the evidence was overwhelming, but you offered no evidence whatsoever, just lied, about the last ice age, the next ice age, about man’s culpability being 100%, about the climate being as it was in 1750 without man’s evil presence. All lies. No evidence. Why lie if you have the truth? And nobody denies the climate has, does and will, change, Nazi.

    • Nick

      And the idiot of the day award goes too ……… Bill Watson. Congrats. Another one for your collection.

  • Scott

    I listened to the episode today and was discouraged by the continual reference to “Climate Deniers”, etc. It really is a turn-off when you paint skeptics as kooks and dismiss them out of hand. I do believe man has some impact, but I’m a skeptic by nature and always follow the money. There’s literally billions of dollars available if you study “climate change”, and nothing if you don’t. I’m just barely old enough to remember the ’70’s when “global cooling” was all the rage, and we needed to figure out how to keep the planet warm. Skeptically, if that was wrong, why is “global
    warming”, now changed to “climate change” science fact? Also note the change for “cooling” to “warming” to “change”. Warmer, cooler, wetter, drier, windier, more humid, less humid, more tornadoes, no tornadoes, more hurricanes, less hurricanes, etc. it’s all “change”. Well, isn’t that convenient, to quote the Church Lady from Saturday Night Live.

    I’d really like to see a show, where instead of antagonizing the skeptics you engage some scientists on the other side that think differently. Over 31,000 scientists signed the OISM Petition Project stating “there is no convincing scientific evidence
    that human release of carbon dioxide will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere”. That’s not a skeptic here or there. They are scientists, more knowledgeable than me, saying that. I’d like to hear the debate.

    I’m not a climate scientist, but there have been very troubling stories in recent years to feed my skepticism. The recent report that ship data was used in lieu of buoy data to skew the ocean temperature data to negate the warming pause over the past 15 years is quite troubling, if true. Before I wrote this, I read where that report
    was false. However, the sources all appeared to be climate related sites, and so which story is correct.

    You may think my mind is made up, but it’s not. However, before we change the entire way the world works, uses energy, drives up the cost of everything from food to clothing to energy to heat and cool our homes, devastates coal mining jobs in the US, etc., etc., shouldn’t we be absolutely certain in the correctness of this latest model before we destroy our current way of life and standard of living? I’ve been
    hearing about the oceans rising and flooding coastlines for a very long time. Maybe that’s true, or is it a hyperbole? If it’s hyperbole, it isn’t helping me convert.
    I see that as the boy who cried wolf. An open and fair discussion for believers and skeptics alike could change minds. The battle lines have been drawn and everyone’s on guard, so it’s hard to get through to them. Maybe my idea of an honest debate is naïve and skeptics and believers alike would just harden their positions, but I would like to see it for myself. The current discussion tactics don’t appear to be changing the hearts and minds of adults. The youth are being indoctrinated into believing it. It’s everywhere and kids can be quite susceptible to the arguments.
    To end this overly long email, what if we’re wrong? It’s not bad, if fact it’s wonderful, to be good stewards of the only planet we have, but at what point have we gone too far. Are we past the point of diminishing returns?

  • Scott

    I listened to the episode today and was discouraged by the continual reference to “Climate Deniers”, etc. It really is a turn-off when you paint skeptics as kooks and dismiss them out of hand. I do believe man has some impact, but I’m a skeptic by nature and always follow the money. There’s literally billions of dollars available if you study “climate change”, and nothing if you don’t. I’m just barely old enough to remember the ’70’s when “global cooling” was all the rage, and we needed to figure
    out how to keep the planet warm. Skeptically, if that was wrong, why is “global
    warming”, now changed to “climate change” science fact? Also note the change for “cooling” to “warming” to “change”. Warmer, cooler, wetter, drier, windier, more humid, less humid, more tornadoes, no tornadoes, more hurricanes, less hurricanes, etc. it’s all “change”. Well, isn’t that convenient, to quote the Church Lady from Saturday Night Live.

    I’d really like to see a show, where instead of antagonizing the skeptics you engage some scientists on the other side that think differently. Over 31,000 scientists signed the OISM Petition Project stating “there is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere”. That’s not a skeptic here or there. They are scientists, more knowledgeable than me, saying that. I’d like to hear the debate.

    I’m not a climate scientist, but there have been very troubling stories in recent years to feed my skepticism. The recent report that ship data was used in lieu of buoy data to skew the ocean temperature data to negate the warming pause over the past 15 years is quite troubling, if true. Before I wrote this, I read where that report was false. However, the sources all appeared to be climate related sites, and so which story is correct.

    You may think my mind is made up, but it’s not. However, before we change the entire way the world works, uses energy, drives up the cost of everything from food to clothing to energy to heat and cool our homes, devastates coal mining jobs in the US, etc., etc., shouldn’t we be absolutely certain in the correctness of this latest model before we destroy our current way of life and standard of living? I’ve been hearing about the oceans rising and flooding coastlines for a very long time. Maybe that’s true, or is it a hyperbole? If it’s hyperbole, it isn’t helping me convert. I see that as the boy who cried wolf. An open and fair discussion for believers and skeptics alike could change minds. The battle lines have been drawn and everyone’s on guard, so it’s hard to get through to them. Maybe my idea of an honest debate is naïve and skeptics and believers alike would just harden their positions, but I would like to see it for myself. The current discussion tactics don’t appear to be changing the hearts and minds of adults. The youth are being indoctrinated into believing it. It’s everywhere and kids can be quite susceptible to the arguments.
    To end this overly long email, what if we’re wrong? It’s not bad, if fact it’s wonderful, to be good stewards of the only planet we have, but at what point have we gone too far. Are we past the point of diminishing returns?

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Music in This Episode