March 20, 2017 9:37 pm

Tuesday: In a World of Alternative Facts, Bill Nye Helps Us Stay Science-Savvy

Here at StarTalk we have always been pro-critical thinking and pro-facts. In the world of science, that’s the only way to be.

For this week’s episode of StarTalk All-Stars, Bill Nye, comic co-host Chuck Nice, and guest Ross Andersen – the Senior Editor at The Atlantic where he oversees the Science, Technology, and Health sections – are here to help us stay scientifically literate in a world of “alternative facts” and cognitive dissonance.

Ben Ratner's photo of Bill Nye and Chuck Nice in the StarTalk All-Stars studio.

Bill Nye and Chuck Nice in the StarTalk All-Stars studio. Credit: Ben Ratner.

I’m excited about this week’s episode, because if you’re like me, it’s becoming harder and harder to draw a distinction between causes fueled by truth or by other motives like business gain or political identity.

As Neil Tyson recently said on StarTalk Radio, like it or not, any science being done is being done embedded in a political system and/or with geopolitical consequences.

Our panel explores why the scientific optimism of the 1960s for things like going to the moon, building freeways, and solving world hunger has shifted towards a possible anti-science movement regarding with distrust vaccines, chemically-enhanced food, and climate change science.

You’ll hear how space exploration brings out the best of bipartisanship, and why invoking patriotic pride for the promotional campaign of the James Webb Space Telescope might be the best way to unite people in support.

Discover why the politicizing of hot-button issues has allowed followers to support or oppose policy changes regardless of whether or not they have directly invested interests.

My favorite part of this episode was the Cosmic Queries segment. StarTalk listeners know how to bring out the best in our panel and this week was no different. Fan-submitted questions include, “Is social media making us dumber?” and “How do you get true information to someone who can consume it and know the difference?”

You’ll also hear about different publications that can help you keep up with quality science literature. Ross’s most recent article in The Atlantic, one he talks about on this very episode, can be found here.

However, as Bill Nye says, the best way might just be for you listen to the StarTalk podcst network and “Turn it up loud!!!”

If you’re serious about being science-savvy, join us tomorrow night for Science Literacy and Alternative Facts, with Bill Nye at 7pm EDT right here on our website, as well as on our new All-Stars channel on iTunes PodcastsGoogle Play MusicSoundCloudStitcher, and TuneIn. And if you’re an All-Access subscriber, you can watch or listen to this episode ad-free at 7pm, too.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
–Ian Mullen