As the former host of PBS's Bill Nye the Science Guy, Bill Nye taught a whole generation of kids about the wonders of science. But in his new documentary, Nye laments how his life's work could be upended by an emerging war on science. (Just think of Trump's stack of climate change skeptics in his cabinet).
"We're living in this extraordinary time where people are anti-science," Nye tells famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson over a glass of wine, adding that scientific innovation helped propel the U.S. as the world's preeminent industrial nation.
Bill Nye: Science Guy intimately follows Nye's journey from beloved children's television host to scientific commentator and his role as the CEO of the Planetary Society, a space exploration nonprofit sending a solar-powered spacecraft into the cosmos.
We also get a rare look into his personal life and his family's affliction with Ataxia, a neurological condition that affects coordination, balance and speech. Nye, who does not have signs of the disease, explains how it's one of the reasons why he has never married or had children.
Some of the most fascinating moments in the documentary are his confrontations with meteorologist Joe Bastardi, a known climate change skeptic, and creationist Ken Ham, the founder of Kentucky's Creation Museum and a Noah's Ark theme park. During Nye's debate with Ham, when asked by the moderator if anything would change their positions, Ham insisted that nothing would change his mind. Nye then simply shot back that he would only need compelling scientific evidence to make the shift.
Still, the science educator remains optimistic that, with time, science will make a comeback and younger generations will replace the anti-science crowd currently in power.
"As what I hope is the last gasp of the anti-science movement, we have this extraordinary administration with extraordinary people heading up the Department of Education and Environmental Protection Agency," Nye told TIME. "But that's going to pass."
Bill Nye: Science Guy is released in select theaters in New York today with a national rollout to follow.