Study Science, Think Abstractly, Change the World | Bill Nye


Caitlin: Hey Bill. I’m currently a junior in high school and
I’m getting ready to apply to college in the near future. I’ve always loved science but it’s never
been a subject to come naturally to me and I’ve always struggled in it a little bit. Do you think that there’s a possibility
I could pick science as my major and become hopefully a scientist one day in the future
despite the fact that it doesn’t come naturally to me? Thank you very much. Bill Nye: Caitlin, of course there’s a chance
for you to become a scientist. What, are you kidding me? Of course, young woman, go for it! There’s all sorts of sciences that I bet
will come naturally to you. Chemistry and physics may not be your thing,
or maybe they’re your favorite. Statistics always made me crazy although I
did it. So yes, there’s a science for you, you’re
doggone right. I would please consider pursuing as many science
courses as you can handle. You don’t have to start with 400-level courses,
you know, senior in college level courses, just try astronomy. Astronomy is empowering and wonderful. It’s humbling and empowering all at the
same time. Try biology. The discoveries being made in genetics right
now are amazing and will change the course of human history. Try chemistry. Without chemistry we would not have these
textiles and this fabulous glass in these electronics that are enabling us to have this
computer conversation. No, just go for it, of course! The big thing I remind everybody though is
algebra. Algebra is really important and it was hard
for me too. You’ve just got to practice. You’ve got to practice algebra over and
over. And the reason it’s valuable, apparently,
research suggests thinking abstractly about numbers enables you to think abstractly about
all sorts of things. So go back if you need to. If you’re a junior just do a little more
algebra and I bet you’re more comfortable with the whole idea. And you might change the world. Go get ’em, Caitlin!

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100 thoughts on “Study Science, Think Abstractly, Change the World | Bill Nye”

  1. Alex Almeida says:

    Sex, gender, sexuality & romantic attraction are not binaries (recent five years of scientific studies). We created binaries when human life was simple and our gene pool was small and science was new …jump ahead eons and human lives are complex and our gene pool is amazing and science is strong in understanding our world in spectrums. In comparison think of what we once perceived as colour and light and what we now know about the plethora of actual colours and the spectrum of light

  2. Ivan says:

    Fuck you

  3. MichaelSaurusRox says:

    Guys why so negative, he might not be the best person but he's trying to encourage a young girl to do science as a career, just calm your collective tits and deal with it. He's trying to be a good guy.

  4. Gary McCaffrey says:

    Bill Nye the finished guy. Bill, you bit into the apple of bullshit and told everyone it was delicious, now fuck off, you're finished.

  5. 05redrex1 says:

    Bill Nye the pseudo-science guy

  6. VejyMonsta says:

    The number of ignorant comments are astounding. Bill just opened a can of worms by going on board with that single episode on gender. It may have been cringe inducing, but it wasn't totally false. Is it really that difficult to understand how people can be whatever they want to be? Penises and vaginas are organs. They don't determine who you are. All of the idiots are coming out of the wood work because Bill Nye the science guy starred in a goofy episode for a Netflix series. The science still holds, regardless of what you think of Bill. Gender and sex aren't the same thing. Gender is a human construct. Sex is biology. What is so difficult to understand? Language is also a human construct. Would you argue that language isn't real because it's made up in the mind?

  7. VejyMonsta says:

    What does this video in particular have to do with Bill Nye's stance on gender? Absolutely nothing.

  8. Lt General Goon says:

    bill the lie by omission guy

  9. Lt General Goon says:

    Take your own advice bill try more than one science class!

  10. Nick Gurs Goldsberg says:

    Anyone notice he didnt say "Try Mechanical Engeneering and work for Boeing." lol

  11. Travis Hunt YouTube PhD says:

    Lol so much hate for him… I am so mad that people are hating on him

  12. Miles Martinez says:

    I just can't understand how Bill Nye's view on ONE issue completely negates everything else he has ever done right. It's like telling your best friend you can't be friends anymore after 10 years because he doesn't like the same music as you. Absolutely childish.

  13. Zagrusz Ventus says:

    Bill Nye worst ting is in the modern worold when pepole sell their belifs for money

  14. sidewinder2057 says:

    Suddenly people hate Bill Nye. What happened? Did I miss something?

  15. Seraphim190 says:

    "Here have some chocolate ice cream!" ……"no!…….no but i can't! I only like vanila! please STOP!!! NO AHHHH!!!!

  16. Cockadoodle says:

    I disagree with Nye about gender, but reading over the comments, why is it that he gets this level of crap over one issue while other people are successful and accepted while constantly spouting bullshit? In other words, someone like this must perform flawlessly while someone else gets by doing whatever they feel like. Society is strange.

  17. adversarial says:

    people in the comments section are triggered beyond all butthurt.

    go for a run, take a shower, eat a snickers. you are the JW's here with your obscurantist hate.

  18. Steve says:

    Bill Nye the non PhD guy

  19. Erik Jo says:

    Wouldn't science be, by definition, not abstract, since it deals with explaining real phenomena? The only abstract subjects are essentially mathematics and philosophy, and mathematics is essentially philosophy.

  20. Aq says:

    I don't understand all the hate comments for Bill!
    This guy is a great educator! Why all the hatred!?

  21. jimmbbo says:

    Why ask this ignorant, arrogant FRAUD anything?

  22. Gameplay Twist says:

    Stay away from biology it is pointless.  You learn there are tiny things and they all have names.  It is like math with formulas and you have no idea what the use of it all is aside from the formulas exist.  Biology is the same you just learn names of things and groups they belong to.

  23. E J says:

    People need to stop hating on bill nye. It's like hating puppies

  24. joshx413 says:

    bill nye the sex junk gender fluidity guy

  25. Justice is CLEAR says:


  26. anonymouse says:

    bill nye is garbage

  27. Paul Adams says:

    ♡ Bill he brilliant ♡ science takes us to the next level.

  28. demonsoulzx says:

    i don't get it. this has literally nothing to do with genders or his netflix series. how are some people still so offended about him being a "SJW"? like isn't the main reason you hate SJW because they will find anything to get offended about? isn't that literally what you're doing? on a video about something completely different, you will find the time and effort to feel offended.

  29. 4ndR3w says:

    This man inspired thousands of people. We need as many Bills as possible.

    Keep it up man! 🙂

  30. Sarthak Pradhan says:

    Butthurt crybabies disking this video. Muh has 2 genders. Grow up. Is this video about genders? These scientifically uneducated conservatives should stop.

  31. Corner Staple says:

    There are only two sexes; male and female. However, there are multiple genders because gender is a social construct that's based on identity rather than biological sex. Bill Nye does a very good job explaining this! Also, the sex junk rap was made bad on purpose and is not a serious thing.

  32. David Reuben Grech says:

    Science doesn't come naturally to any scientist. It's not intuitive and you have to work hard at it. So no problem if it you find it hard. We all find it hard

  33. Klia Klia says:

    Why is there so much Hate??… i dont understand!!!

  34. George Bossinakis says:

    Why does this channel still post stuff from this guy?  Did he threaten them too?

  35. Scott Leisman says:

    is this the guy with a 2 year engineering degree pretending to be a scientist?

  36. Coffee Jack says:

    Please remove this feminist Mouthpiece.
    He has lost it.

  37. Spurdo Spoerde says:

    Lol, he isn't even a sceintist.

  38. xNightmareBeta says:

    does understanding this question fall on a spectrum

  39. Chase Lampe says:

    Bunch of insecure little boys in this comment section.

  40. Rafael CBF says:

    I'm here for the comments. takes out popcorn

  41. Juliaruby 10 says:

    Is algebra difficult, I find it to be fun. It's things like memorizing times tables and square roots that I find stress inducing

  42. Alex 051106 says:

    I thought he died

  43. davidkuinov says:

    lost all respect for this guy after his dumb statement – "latest Paris terrorist attack is because of climate change". by this logic she definitely should learn science or else she'd become a terrorist.

  44. Heleve Joergon says:

    Neil DeGrasse Tyson won't be collaborating with Nye anymore, something tells me….

    Fuck off Nye. How does a scientists do science this wrong. PC culture. That is your answer.

  45. Jesse Crispy says:

    Bill your new show is a bit cringy, may i suggest that you tweak it a little bit, I feel like it might bomb.

  46. Remington700FTW says:

    fake scientist

  47. Jacob Ponce says:

    Gender is so irrelevant to the real issues of today so why do people have to let it divide us.

  48. stuff4ever says:

    i really don't get all the dislikes. He didn't say nothing absurd.

  49. S WW says:

    No worries! Bill nye says you can make science up as you go – check out his Netflix show

  50. Bill Nye Fake Science Guy says:


  51. Heleve Joergon says:

    Bill Nye has fucked up. Even Niel DeGrasse Tyson wants nothing to do with him anymore. What a PC shill. SPEAK THE TRUTH NYE!!! What is this shit? I used to love you.

  52. Bob Johnson says:

    Nye is NOT a scientist. He is an activist and not a very good one since he insists on using fake data and absolutely no scientific method.

  53. joshua c says:

    Your problem understanding science is partially hindered by listening to Bill Nye. See, Bill doesn't understand the scientific method and therefore can't really understand science. Everything begins with the foundational philosophical principles that precipitate the mundane technology we use to manipulate our world. First we had to understand the philosophical truth that 2+2=4 so we could calculate the average airspeed velocity of a swallow carrying two coconuts. Science itself has truths that limit what it is and what it can never be. It has truths regarding methods that yield useful knowledge about our world and how deviating from those methods yields junk.

    One deviation, Bill, is determining truth through an appeal to authority. Another is turning science into a democratic process where all the scientists get a vote, lol. How it really works its you present findings and show the data. Then the data is checked. If an experiment showing causality is compared to another showing nothing, you find out why. Someone's methods are usually flawed. If there's money to make off the research, you can almost guarantee the books are cooked.

    Anyway, If you think algebra is hard and you weren't good at geometry either, you should probably do something else. If you're good at one them, its just a link you've gotta make in the brain and calculus becomes doable. Good luck.

  54. Paul Haught says:

    Bill Nye the Elite Figurehead. one of the biggest pieces of shit human beings out there. cant wait for the universe to take justice

  55. Rafael Mertin says:

    dislike for bill nye

  56. Rafael Mertin says:

    so oh oh oh

  57. Vincent P says:

    He doesn't say physics Triggered!!!!!!!!!

  58. Al Puma says:

    Nye is not a institutional scientist if you believe all that this "man" says (I think he is a Bill Gates AI programed Android) you will be led into a world of half truths.

  59. SolidSnape84 says:

    Bill, keep doing stuff like this and focus on the science, this was a good video, very informative. Stop trying to push a dishonest political agenda like you did with your netflix show.

  60. X S says:

    As if he was going to say… Ha better luck being an exotic dancer.

  61. Seekmosttoprophesy says:

    Science is what you can know. You can't know that exhaling causes global warming. Everything is mathematical, which means evolution doesn't exist.

  62. A. C. Abbey says:

    I watched your early videos back in the 90s as a high school and college student sir and I appreciate everything you have done and continue to do. Carry on!

  63. Austin Carleton says:

    It was the worst career choice for Bill to have ever done that Netflix show. Honestly what in the world was he thinking..

    But stop the hate peeps. These were genuine answers.

  64. Maxie Pattie says:

    @ 00:17 she sniffs which suggested to me that her real question is: "If I don't study for a big test is it OK to do blow all night and just cram it in there all at once?"

    This is what I'm seeing. See has the 3/4 rule down for sure. But, that P.J. / Pornhub thingy raises flags for sure.

    Answer: Stay in (non public) school!

  65. ElizaBear says:

    Irony = Bill Nye connected with anything to do with the word "think". Or science.

  66. Usman Afridi says:

    i have a question not related to this video but a genreal one. i hope
    its ok and may be you can prepare a video regarding that also.
    Question: here on earth we do all the naviation with GPS or INS, so in
    case of space missions i read about it that they use the reference point
    as earth and do the guidance system by predicting the location. how
    accurate is that navidation system and does it get interferred by other
    space bodies e.g sun or other planets. it woudl ne very intersting to
    know if they consider the change in trejectories due to gravitational
    pull of other entities in space.

  67. Narco Bob says:

    I love science, but this guy is a complete tool.

  68. jamaafulani says:

    I'm just here to dislike.

  69. Western University of Health Sciences says:

    Thanks to Bill Nye, (aka "The Science Guy") for always being such an enthusiastic, science and education advocate.

  70. miami_vibes69 says:

    I have the same problem.. I love science but suck at it lol

  71. AtOMiC SoUL says:

    Bill Nye you CLOWN!! think abstractly??? you belittle and ridicule folks who think outside YOUR box but you want people to think abstractly just as long as its within your thought patterns, right? you are such a shill and just a actor with a nerdy bow tie to make you SEEM official! GTFOH

  72. Thorin Oakenshield says:

    How the hell do you pick science as a major? Don't you have to specify some general field of science at least, like Math or Biology?

  73. David Baughman says:


  74. Not Quite Right says:

    My advice to this girl is get a basic engineering degree and make a kid's show about science. A decade or so later completely ignore the things you taught on the show and sell out for some really big bucks. If it worked for Bill, it can work for you.

  75. Ravenn says:

    I understand many of the people here think that gender means two sexes and I'm sorry that you're angry at him but people don't blink an eye when Bill Nye fights climate change deniers but would get this extreme over an idea of a gender spectrum? Unlike ignoring climate change, what someone else thinks of as their gender isn't hurting anyone that much.

  76. Andrew Shaw says:

    Sigh. It's sad that this man is included on this channel among such great minds and academics. He is an ignorant, petulant child with no major accomplishments as an intellectual. He has a BS in engineering. That's it. He's a fraud. Stop giving him a platform.

  77. C Will says:

    didn't need to Big Think to thumb this idiot down……

  78. listen2meokidoki says:

    NO! For-Get About It. Just sing along with this song:

  79. River Run says:

    This made me emotional???

  80. Jerry Judkins says:

    I agree a million percent with him! Anyone who doesn't see the truth in this has not worked in a technical discipline that required quantitative rigor.

  81. Bri says:

    Ah shit, it's Bill Nye the bachlor of mechanical engineering guy.

  82. Ahmad Fajrudin says:

    What are the difference about algebra and arithmetic ? are they the same things ?

  83. Lekestue says:

    Great advice my biggest problem was that I always have been a concret thinker at school but a very abstract thinker in general meaning I have always been conducting though experiment but the problem there is that its not connected to anything concret and that is also a problem. So algebra is Perfect because it is abstract and concret.

  84. OLLE Sävlind W says:

    EVIL SWEEEDS FORCE there snowboards on poor PEDOFILA lovering americans BAS SWEEDS p#makepedfilagrate

  85. Sallee Thecamel says:

    U tell her Bill… Maybe u should run for president 20/20 U have my vote!!!

  86. Ankit Saini says:

    What is potential step in quantum physics?

  87. Mael-Strom says:

    Caitlin, try psychiatry, although not an exact science, you will never be out of work.

  88. breezer- music says:

    Do you have any cause for why everything is happening?

  89. John Santastasio says:

    You are not a "science guy" you are a mechanical engineer. Engineers are not scientists. And because you are an engineer… that does not mean your know EVERYTHING in the entire universe! My background is in physics… and I can tell you and everyone, you are not right on many issues. You give opinions, not facts backed up by data many times, but based on your opinion of the topic. And because you sprinkle in some true axioms, and little "Lab Experiments" any kid can do with a chemistry set, and wear a silly bow tie, some people believe you. When in fact, you ask more questions than you answer. And most of all sir… you are arrogant. Opposing views to you mean nothing but the other party must be "mentally challenged." I will end where I started; you sir, are not a science guy… at all.

  90. Zestamore Garcia says:

    Did he stop doing questions. I was curious about his opinion on how he is able to believe in science without philosophy outweighing it. Because philosophy could outweigh any argument

  91. Conner Fields says:

    Question for Dr? Nye: What are the similarities and differences between the Socratic Method and the Scientific Method?

  92. Vicasso Fourie says:

    It is quite sad that Big Think gives so much space to this clown.

  93. Beau Biker says:

    Mr. Bill : Why Should people give a rats aress about what you spew in science. Do they not know you are NOT a real scientist? You have admitted to not being a real scientist. No science degrees! You do know honourable degrees you have don't count. Incase you don't . If you added 50 cents to a honourable degree it would be worth 50 cents. So why do you portray yourself as a real scientist answering science questions when you haven't a clue. Most real scientist think you are a idiot. Pretty hard to disagree with them .

  94. Trevor Sinlao says:

    I just love Bill Nye. He's like this nice grandpa who would gladly pass onto you any kind of science knowledge you would like to know.

  95. Tim H says:

    with so many christians spewing hate in the comment section it seems pretty clear that hate is what christianity is all about.

  96. The Church,The Way not Religions! says:

    He's a Edomite , payed off sell out

  97. TomG Gabin says:

    Think imaginatively and truly change the world. That is where empathy and creativity and morality and community and compassion lie. You want to really change the world, you start with the people who are fucking it up–through their irresponsible use of science. That is where the key can be found.

  98. hi guys falanfilan says:

    I felt better when he told “Algebra is hard for me too”

  99. Mind It says:

    It's the universal queries

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