Charles Jervas’ Portrait of Sir Isaac Newton
Charles Jervas’ Portrait of Sir Isaac Newton

Cosmic Queries – Innovating, with Bill Nye

Portrait of Sir Isaac Newton, by Charles Jervas.
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About This Episode

In honor of Sir Isaac Newton’s birthday (on either December 25 or January 4, whichever date you prefer), Bill Nye and Chuck Nice answer fan-submitted Cosmic Queries about inventions, innovations and scientific discovery. First, find out why there is even a discrepancy in the date of Newton’s birthday, or Newtonmas as Bill calls it, thanks to Pope Gregory XIII, the Vatican Observatory, leap years, and the traditional British sense of autonomy. 

Next, you’ll learn why Bill is excited about artificial intelligence and self-driving cars. Explore CRISPR, the gene-splicing technology which Bill thinks is the most significant invention this decade. Find out why radiation might not be the barrier to exploring the solar system that some people fear, and why we already have all the technology we need for a human mission to Mars. You’ll also hear why Bill thinks we also have all the technology we need to convert the entire planet’s energy needs to renewable sources, although a better battery would still make its inventor rich. 

Discover why sewers may be the most important invention in human history. Explore the value of patents – and the problem posed by patent trolls. Plus, Bill and Chuck talk about inventions like GMOs and nuclear weapons; the impact of discovering life on other worlds; Bill’s Netflix show, Bill Nye Saves the World; and the time Bill got to fly in an FA-18 Hornet.

(This episode originally aired on our StarTalk All-Stars channel.)

Thanks to this week’s Patrons for supporting us: Brett Larue, Aimee Kukowski, Scarlet Wolf, Lionel Gollan, Michael Kosakavich, Michelle Danic.

NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons and All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

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