Bill Nye – Change The World

Bill Nye the science guy gives a speech about the human existential realization of our place in the Universe and how humanity is only one race.


If you’re going to get a bucket of water thrown in your face, untuck your shirt. You wouldn’t think it would make that much difference. A cotton shirt, like this one, is hydrophilic. Water is going to stick to it, true enough, but a shirt-tail, even a water loving shirt-tail, directs a great deal of that bucket blast around your waistband, so you get a lot less cold water in your trousers. I know this to be true, because I did it many times on the science show. Mine was a unique experience. I’m telling you this just because its not useful, I mean, obviously, but because there is a big idea here.

Everyone you will ever meet knows something that you don’t. This is troubling for many of us know-it-alls. Auto mechanics today know how to debug software. Cooks know ow to use copper to control the proteins in eggs. Brick layers have an intimate knowledge of the strength of materials that most of us will never have, so respect their knowledge. Learn from them. It will bring out the best in both of you.

By the way, as the CEO of the Planetary Society, I want you all to keep looking up. Keep looking up and out into the cosmos. Question things. I am claiming that there will be some more world changing discoveries in the coming years, in your lifetimes. For example, recently we’ve come to know that the universe is bigger than anyone ever thought. Not only that, it’s getting bigger faster. It’s expansion is accelerating. Do you know why? No one knows why.

But researchers have proven scientifically that humans are all one people. We are one species. We’re a lot like dogs in that regard. If a great dane interacts … Can we say interact? Yeah. Interacts. If a great dane interacts with a chihuahua, you get a dog. That’s all you get. I mean, some of my best friends are dogs, but all you’re going to get is a dog. They’re all one species. The same with us, everybody. The color of our ancestors skin and ultimately my skin and your skin is a consequence of ultraviolet light, of latitude, and of climate. There really is no such thing as race. We are one species, each of us much, much more alike than we are different. We all came from Africa. Thank you. We are all made of the same star dust. We are all going to live and die on the same planet, this pale, blue dot in the vastness of space.

You can imagine all of that. With your brain you can understand the process of science. With your brain you can realize that this is wonderful. This is remarkable. This is venerable. This is worthy of respect. Here’s wishing you the joy of discovery. Keep reaching. Keep seeking. Keep using your abilities to bring out the best in those around you and in yourself. As you do, you can and you will, dare I say it, change the world. This has been an honor. Thank you all very much. Thank you.