In what is being dubbed the Post-Truth era, in a world of alternative facts, climate change denial and criticism of experts, there’s one thing that we can rely on: Netflix. So, science, facts and experts are coming straight to it, in the form of none other than Bill Nye. Yeah, you read that right, Bill Nye Saves the World, a talk-show hosted by The Science Guy himself, is coming to Netflix sometime in the spring of 2017. With educational aims similar to Bill Nye, the Science Guy of the 1990s, with modern topics and a 21st-century angle—looking at politics, pop culture, society and science—it’s the perfect show for a Brexit-voting, Trump-ruled world.
With the aim to engage people watching TV via the internet with modern science, the show will start debunking myths and claims made in regards to science from its first episode. Targeting the stories perpetuated by political, industrial and religious groups, Nye hasn’t shied away from taking on some heavyweight targets. You should be as excited for it as I am. Episodes taking on anti-vaccination myths, genetically modified organisms in food, and—you guessed it—climate change are on the list. I do sincerely hope he’s taken it directly to people to change their minds. Bill Nye taking on anti-vaxxer groups and climate change deniers face-to-face will be something to behold, whether you believe in scientifically proven facts or not.
“It’s as if the stars have aligned perfectly for Bill’s comeback, and Nye’s no-nonsense yet ultimately fun style is something we’ve all missed out on since Bill Nye, the Science Guy ended in 1998”
Bill Nye’s return to television is not wholly unexpected considering the current climate in regards to science. We’re supposedly sick of experts, sick of being told what is right and wrong. I mean, look at the state of America now, for crying out loud. Nye’s fervent criticism of Donald Trump’s administration, and huge online following, would naturally prompt him to come back to a television audience. It’s as if the stars have aligned perfectly for Bill’s comeback, and Nye’s no-nonsense yet ultimately fun style is something we’ve all missed out on since Bill Nye, the Science Guy ended in 1998. Education on science needs to be readily accessible by anyone, and providing this on Netflix is, on first assessment, a fantastic idea – anyone with a little bit of cash to spare a month can get a hold of the means in which to educate themselves – and with someone as fun as Nye heading the show, why wouldn’t you want to watch it?
My only concern is Netflix’s predominant user base, which is younger individuals aged 16 to 24. Not only that, but the attitude of people such as anti-vaxxers and climate-change deniers won’t point them toward this show whatsoever. These people tend to ignore facts, and avoid any possible opinions or arguments that could change their viewpoints at all. The individuals watching this show will – mostly – already be pro-vaccination, or stand to combat climate change, and this will cause the show to exist in its own little resonating echo-chamber, bouncing from millennial to millennial. Sadly, I wouldn’t be surprised if this ended up being the case - and it’s possible that through existing via Netflix alone, Nye’s show, through targeting too young an audience, may be too late to save the world.