Bill Nye isn’t exactly a scientist. The self-proclaimed climate-and-biology expert, who hosts a new show, Bill Nye Saves the World, on Netflix, where he yells his strong, occasionally unscientific opinion at the audience for extended periods of time, is actually an engineer by trade.
But while progressives and social justice warriors are happy to give Nye and his “scientism” authority (so long as he agrees with them politically), real scientists wish he’d share the spotlight. And thousands of them have taken to Twitter to pressure the entertainer, using the hastag, #BillMeetScienceTwitter.
The hashtag was started by a marine biologist, Melissa Marquez, who told media that, while she appreciates Nye’s commitment to science education, it would be nice if Nye, (who Marquez calls a “dude in a lab coat”) who isn’t a working scientist, shared the spotlight with other, more qualified, experts on things like climate science.
By Monday afternoon, more than 3,400 scientists and experts had trolled Nye.
Those scientists and experts, it turns out, also happen to be a pretty diverse group. Women and people of color flooded the hashtag to show that science isn’t just a pursuit for older, white men like Nye.
Few of them disagree with Nye’s assessment that climate is changing, but as Marquez says, real scientists don’t hold themselves out to be experts on everything, the way Nye does. “In science what you do is say, ‘oh, that’s not my area of expertise, but here is someone who knows the answer,'” she says.
Many of the people who are currently trolling Nye could very well help boost his credibility by lending their expertise to his pre-conceived opinions.
But Nye probably won’t take them up on their offer, though he says he sees their point. On season one of his show, between proclamations about gender fluidity and weird dance numbers, the only “experts” he had were comedians, supermodels and Hollywood stars, like Karlie Kloss and Zach Braff.
Real scientists might tell Bill Nye he’s wrong—and he can’t have that.