Bill Nye the Science Guy was my favorite. I watched it on PBS every day after school, but before dinner (the only TV time I got on Monday through Friday), and I was among the "YESSS THANK GOD"s when the TV cart got pushed into our classroom, because that only meant one thing: Science class was an episode of the show.
I honestly learned more science from his episodes than from any science class I took in K-12, and while that is more of a critique of the abysmal failures of the public school system in Texas, it also speaks volumes about just what that show included. Catchy ways to remember things "What's the matter, Bill?... "EVERYTHING! EVERYTHING IS MATTER!", real-life young adults doing scientific research in the field (presented in a way I as a child could understand), little experiments I could easily do at home, and simplified explanations of complex subjects that left me curious enough to pick up a book and learn more on my own. Bill was my favorite.
Fast forward nearly ten years, and Bill has become my hero. His debate with Ken Hamm on evolution broke records in audience views, got people talking, and let's be honest, he kicked Hamm's ass.
I was finally able to point to something concrete, specific, and well laid out when my religious and southern friends shouted "Jesus never did evolution" (no shit, that would've been God dropping stuff off and letting it handle it's business for millions of years, but I digress), and I felt validated in what I'd been telling people for years. Bill taught me enough to be interested in history, including the scientific progress of history that made me who I was in the 2000s. He was dynamic on that stage, just like I remembered him from childhood.
Next came his arguments for climate change, which went as far as a petition to the President of the United States (who, thank God, was Barack Obama, who needed no convincing and sent the message to the public). Again, something I was serious about became real and acknowledged by a man I respected who KNEW HIS SHIT, and the topic became open for discussion in a very real and tangible way that would lead to change.
Then Bill Nye did something I would never forget. He talked about racism and feminism, and in scientific terms told us that we, as human beings, were the same on the inside, regardless of the amount of melanin in our skin. He did it in a way that did not belittle or dismiss the experience of black people in the US, but brought to the forefront of our minds that any disrespect, abuse, and mistreatment of someone for their race was based on nothing but prejudice, because science outright screamed that there was, quite literally, nothing different on the inside to base that anger on.
He demanded that women be treated as equals. He wanted 50% of scientists to be women, because 50% of the population was women. He argued that feminism was a serious movement that needed to be acknowledged and that he was on our side.
THEN HE ADDRESSED HOMOSEXUALITY AND HOW IT MADE SENSE FROM AN EVOLUTIONARY STANDPOINT. (Not just in the tweet pictured below. There's an entire freaking video.)
He hit the trifecta. I nearly fell over. This man wasn't just a whacky bowtie and a blue lab coat: he was a serious scientist with a passion for knowledge, learning, and understanding of the human condition, and he cared about what happened to me, as a woman, and to people of other races. He wanted things to change for the better.
In the few moments of spare time he had between whooping up on ignorant politicians and religious nuts, my favorite guy even went on to compete in Dancing With the Stars (where he ruled like science until he had an injury) and to do a spoof on an episode of Amy Schumer's show, Inside Amy Schumer, where he cussed, and his childhood fandom either peed their pants with glee or clutched their pearls, because BILL, YOU CAN'T SAY THAT NAUGHTY WORD!
In summation, this man is the best at what he does, and his cohorts, such as Neil DeGrasse Tyson, agree. Back when he was just William Nye, he studied under Carl Sagan, and he legitimately knows his science. I, for one, would love to hear more from him, and to learn about what made him into the incredible human being he is today.
Now, I have the chance.
They're making a documentary on his life and his vision, and YOU can be a part of it. I've already pledged (and I'm broke, but I scrambled this together because I need this film to happen, and I want to be part of it when it does) and every pledge, even $5, gets something cool. I personally am getting to stream the video before anyone else, a PDF copy of his notes from the creation debate with Ken Hamm (HOLY SHIT I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THAT), a digital bundle with articles, historic photographs, and interviews, and gifs, text tones with Bill's catchphrases, and 20+ Bill Nye emojis. I also get a shoutout on twitter and updates about the progress of the show.
For $25 freaking dollars.
I would pay hundreds for most of that stuff, simply because I love Bill Nye and I am a sucker for collectors items, but I get it all for free because I chose to spend some of my money helping get this movie completed. If you go to the website above (the Kickstarter link), you can watch video clips about his vision for The Science Guy show, find out about his mother (his feminist icon and a WWII code breaker!) and find out a little bit more about his intentions for changing the world.
You will not find a better way to spend a few bucks.
Bill, you're one of my biggest heroes. Even without the wacky coat and ties, the goggles, and the quips, and especially as I've gotten to watch your scientific outreach grow alongside me (although I'm sure you did that all along, and we were only privy to it now), I'm immensely excited for this documentary.
Long live the science guy.
Until the next valuable endeavor,