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!


  1. Alex Almeida

    May 24, 2017 at 2:21 am

    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. MichaelSaurusRox

    May 24, 2017 at 2:27 am

    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.

  3. Gary McCaffrey

    May 24, 2017 at 2:28 am

    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.

  4. 05redrex1

    May 24, 2017 at 2:30 am

    Bill Nye the pseudo-science guy

  5. VejyMonsta

    May 24, 2017 at 2:56 am

    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?

  6. VejyMonsta

    May 24, 2017 at 3:07 am

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

  7. Lt General Goon

    May 24, 2017 at 3:14 am

    bill the lie by omission guy

  8. Lt General Goon

    May 24, 2017 at 3:14 am

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

  9. Nick Gurs Goldsberg

    May 24, 2017 at 3:26 am

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

  10. Travis Hunt YouTube PhD

    May 24, 2017 at 4:02 am

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

  11. Miles Martinez

    May 24, 2017 at 4:04 am

    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.

  12. Zagrusz Ventus

    May 24, 2017 at 5:20 am

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

  13. sidewinder2057

    May 24, 2017 at 5:44 am

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

  14. Seraphim190

    May 24, 2017 at 5:47 am

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

  15. Cockadoodle

    May 24, 2017 at 5:49 am

    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.

  16. adversarial

    May 24, 2017 at 5:57 am

    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.

  17. Steve

    May 24, 2017 at 6:09 am

    Bill Nye the non PhD guy

  18. Erik Jo

    May 24, 2017 at 6:56 am

    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.

  19. Aq

    May 24, 2017 at 7:14 am

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

  20. jimmbbo

    May 24, 2017 at 7:34 am

    Why ask this ignorant, arrogant FRAUD anything?

  21. Gameplay Twist

    May 24, 2017 at 7:37 am

    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.

  22. E J

    May 24, 2017 at 7:47 am

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

  23. joshx413

    May 24, 2017 at 8:14 am

    bill nye the sex junk gender fluidity guy

  24. Justice is CLEAR

    May 24, 2017 at 8:19 am


  25. anonymouse

    May 24, 2017 at 8:50 am

    bill nye is garbage

  26. Paul Adams

    May 24, 2017 at 9:30 am

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

  27. demonsoulzx

    May 24, 2017 at 9:34 am

    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.

  28. 4ndR3w

    May 24, 2017 at 10:52 am

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

    Keep it up man! 🙂

  29. Sarthak Pradhan

    May 24, 2017 at 11:08 am

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

  30. Corner Staple

    May 24, 2017 at 11:37 am

    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.

  31. David Reuben Grech

    May 24, 2017 at 11:43 am

    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

  32. Klia Klia

    May 24, 2017 at 12:16 pm

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

  33. George Bossinakis

    May 24, 2017 at 12:57 pm

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

  34. Scott Leisman

    May 24, 2017 at 2:29 pm

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

  35. Coffee Jack

    May 24, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    Please remove this feminist Mouthpiece.
    He has lost it.

  36. Spurdo Spoerde

    May 24, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    Lol, he isn't even a sceintist.

  37. xNightmareBeta

    May 24, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    does understanding this question fall on a spectrum

  38. Chase Lampe

    May 24, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    Bunch of insecure little boys in this comment section.

  39. Rafael CBF

    May 24, 2017 at 10:37 pm

    I'm here for the comments. takes out popcorn

  40. Juliaruby 10

    May 24, 2017 at 11:26 pm

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

  41. Alex 051106

    May 25, 2017 at 12:32 am

    I thought he died

  42. davidkuinov

    May 25, 2017 at 2:10 am

    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.

  43. Heleve Joergon

    May 25, 2017 at 5:24 am

    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.

  44. Jesse Crispy

    May 25, 2017 at 10:59 am

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

  45. Remington700FTW

    May 25, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    fake scientist

  46. Jacob Ponce

    May 25, 2017 at 9:28 pm

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

  47. stuff4ever

    May 27, 2017 at 1:15 am

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

  48. S WW

    May 27, 2017 at 5:09 pm

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

  49. Bill Nye Fake Science Guy

    May 28, 2017 at 3:43 am


  50. Heleve Joergon

    May 28, 2017 at 5:39 am

    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.

  51. Bob Johnson

    May 29, 2017 at 1:49 am

    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.

  52. joshua c

    May 29, 2017 at 4:37 am

    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.

  53. Paul Haught

    May 29, 2017 at 12:05 pm

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

  54. Rafael Mertin

    May 29, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    dislike for bill nye

  55. Rafael Mertin

    May 29, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    so oh oh oh

  56. Vincent P

    May 29, 2017 at 9:57 pm

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

  57. Al Puma

    May 30, 2017 at 4:02 am

    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.

  58. SolidSnape84

    May 30, 2017 at 4:29 am

    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.

  59. X S

    May 30, 2017 at 6:24 pm

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

  60. Seekmosttoprophesy

    May 31, 2017 at 1:01 am

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

  61. A. C. Abbey

    June 8, 2017 at 8:45 am

    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!

  62. Austin Carleton

    June 10, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    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.

  63. Maxie Pattie

    June 27, 2017 at 12:26 am

    @ 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!

  64. ElizaBear

    July 11, 2017 at 9:56 am

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

  65. Usman Afridi

    July 22, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    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.

  66. Narco Bob

    July 22, 2017 at 9:13 pm

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

  67. jamaafulani

    July 31, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    I'm just here to dislike.

  68. Western University of Health Sciences

    August 16, 2017 at 10:23 pm

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

  69. miami_vibes69

    September 11, 2017 at 11:04 pm

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

  70. AtOMiC SoUL

    September 24, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    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

  71. Thorin Oakenshield

    October 1, 2017 at 9:40 am

    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?

  72. Not Quite Right

    October 19, 2017 at 9:50 pm

    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.

  73. Ravenn

    January 31, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    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.

  74. Andrew Shaw

    February 12, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    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.

  75. C Will

    February 14, 2018 at 2:10 pm

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

  76. listen2meokidoki

    February 14, 2018 at 3:04 pm

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

  77. River Run

    March 5, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    This made me emotional???

  78. Jerry Judkins

    April 5, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    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.

  79. Bri

    April 11, 2018 at 3:57 am

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

  80. Ahmad Fajrudin

    April 12, 2018 at 3:21 am

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

  81. Lekestue

    May 12, 2018 at 8:57 pm

    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.

  82. OLLE Sävlind W

    July 26, 2018 at 6:45 am

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

  83. Sallee Thecamel

    October 10, 2018 at 4:31 am

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

  84. Ankit Saini

    November 20, 2018 at 11:42 am

    What is potential step in quantum physics?

  85. Mael-Strom

    November 27, 2018 at 12:04 am

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

  86. breezer- music

    December 30, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    Do you have any cause for why everything is happening?

  87. John Santastasio

    January 8, 2019 at 4:36 am

    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.

  88. Zestamore Garcia

    January 12, 2019 at 4:59 am

    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

  89. Conner Fields

    January 21, 2019 at 9:35 pm

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

  90. Vicasso Fourie

    February 9, 2019 at 7:40 am

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

  91. Beau Biker

    June 8, 2019 at 4:32 am

    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 .

  92. Trevor Sinlao

    June 19, 2019 at 9:24 am

    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.

  93. Tim H

    July 11, 2019 at 7:47 pm

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

  94. The Church,The Way not Religions!

    September 7, 2019 at 7:00 pm

    He's a Edomite , payed off sell out

  95. TomG Gabin

    October 13, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    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.

  96. hi guys falanfilan

    October 19, 2019 at 10:42 am

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

  97. Mind It

    November 5, 2019 at 6:50 pm

    It's the universal queries

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