Bill Nye at Life is Beautiful: Science, Politics, and Saving The World

September 26, 2017

12:45 am

The Life is Beautiful festival took over downtown Las Vegas this past weekend starting on Friday afternoon with an inspirational talk by Bill Nye the Science guy. Bill Nye captivated a crowd of over a thousand festival goers with his thoughts from his latest book, Everything All at Once, and Netflix series, “Bill Nye Saves the World.” Here are some of the key messages from the former Boeing engineer turned science evangelist.

Bill Nye at Life is Beautiful 2017

Space

Captivated by space since he was a youngster, and eventually even sitting in professor Carl Sagan’s class, Nye shared his journey to becoming the president of The Planetary Society, which has a mission to democratize space exploration. It all started with a simple question: where did we all come from and are we alone in the world?

Nye believes:

“Space brings out the best in all of us.”

He shared a story about his youth and how he was trying to envision how many stars there are in the universe and was told that there were more stars than grains of sand at the beach. But over time, he learned his teacher was wrong. Actually…

“…there are 100x as many stars as there are grains of sand on the entire Earth.”

When you think about our existence that way, it really puts everything into perspective. He went on to say:

“I’m a speck standing on a speck orbiting a speck with a bunch of other specs in the middle of specklessness.”

A mind-boggling analysis of our current predicament.

Bill Nye on Nevada at Life is Beautiful 2017

Climate Change

Pointing to the current hurricane season which has brought us hurricanes larger than ever before, Nye made some scientific cases for how climate change is impacting our planet. Nye brings it all back to the science explaining how climate change is a real thing, not one that can selectively be believed or denied.

Nye believes that we still have time to change direction and combat the negative impact we’re making on the planet. He pointed out that technologies exist now to make the world run on renewable energy and encouraged everyone to look at The Solutions Project. Even a state like Nevada, located in an inhospitable climate where people can only live because of science and engineering, can leverage clean, renewable energy and change course within our lifetimes.

“Nevada could be run on renewable energy by 2050.”

Bill Nye at Life is Beautiful 2017

Equality, Progress, Politics and Science
He spoke out about women’s equality, sharing the story of his mother who was highly educated and accomplished, yet could not get a credit card when he was growing up just because she was a woman.

His stories were to illustrate that not only are women critical to the workforce and the progress of ideas today, but that it wasn’t that long ago that women didn’t have the same rights as men, and progress is critical to our society. He shared some important words from the US Constitution: “to promote the progress of science and useful arts” highlighting that our country has a built in appreciation of science.

Nye confronted the current political situation head on, telling the audience he lived through Nixon’s resignation and predicts it may take a year, but he suspects our current “weird situation” will change as long as people who understand the importance of science and progress get out and vote.

Bill Nye the Science Guy at Life is Beautiful 2017

Saving the World

Nye believes that everyone can make an impact on the world by voting and encouraged everyone to get out to vote in the next election. He left us all on a high by saying:

“Just appreciate science, when you go out to vote.”

We can change the world and science rules.

Read more about Life is Beautiful on TechCo

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Frank Gruber is the cofounder, CEO and Executive Editor of Tech.Co (formerly Tech Cocktail). He is the author of the book, Startup Mixology, Tech Cocktail’s Guide to Building, Growing, and Celebrating Startup Success. He is also a startup advisor and investor to startups.

Find Frank Gruber online and follow him on Twitter at @FrankGruber.

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