Bill Nye the Science Guy is back, test tubes, bowtie and all, and he’s ready to bring down the hammer on controversial scientific topics — including alternative medicine.
Nye’s new show, “Bill Nye Saves the World,” isn’t just a repeat of his original kid-centric PBS hit in the ‘90s. The show, which in format is almost reminiscent of “The Daily Show,” addresses people of all ages and takes on topics like GMOs, climate change, and sexuality.
In the second episode, Nye’s topic of choice is alternative medicine. Alternative medicine is a term for treatments and therapies that are used in place of or in tandem with medical practices taught in Western medical school, which are focused on treating symptoms and diseases with drugs and/or surgery. Examples of alternative treatments include chiropractic medicine, aromatherapy, yoga, or herbal remedies. Some alternative treatments are backed by research; others, not so much.
In the episode, Nye makes it clear that he believes most alternative treatments are simply a hoax. He urges his viewers to become critical thinkers when it comes to the latest medical trends.
To illustrate, he sends one of his correspondents to San Francisco to check out a facility that purports to treat physical ailments with sound therapy. The head of the facility demonstrates their methods on Nye’s correspondent, at one point screaming directly at her abdomen with the goal of ridding her of toxins. While she struggles to keep a straight face, the man believes the treatment has real healing powers. Back on the show’s set, Nye declares that there is no scientific evidence to suggest this kind of therapy works. He then brings in an expert panel, which includes opponents and proponent of alternative medicine, to debate the issue and explain the science behind positive and negative placebo effects.
“[The new show is] quite different,” Nye told Esquire.com. "This is a talk show, it's not a science primer, so much as a show about topics that have pros and cons from a scientific perspective. We want you, the viewer, to draw your own conclusions after we present the evidence."
“Bill Nye Saves the World” became available on Netflix on April 21, 2017.