But at SXSW on Saturday, Nye turned up at the Q&A mic at Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's session to ask about the role fear can play holding back progress on issues like climate change.
"People are just afraid of what will happen if we try to make these big changes," Nye said, "When we address climate change, we're going to have access to clean water, the internet and renewable electricity for everyone on Earth."
Ocasio-Cortez focused her response on the idea of what she called dismantling fear, and encouraging people to advocate for their beliefs. She capped her answer with: "Courage begets courage. The first person who stands up has to encounter the most amount of fear and discomfort, but once that one person stands up, it becomes immensely easier for the second person and the third."
Prior to Nye's appearance, Ocasio-Cortez also talked about job automation.
Automation doesn't have to be a scary thing, she said.
What makes it unsettling is how it could further cement societal inequalities.
"We live in a society where if you don't have a job, you're left to die," Ocasio-Cortez said.
She said that instead of being "haunted by the specter of automation," automation should free us up for creativity and innovation.
Ocasio-Cortez, representative for New York's 14th congressional district, has been a rising star of the Democratic party, going back to her successful campaign in the primaries against Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley.
She ran on a platform including single-payer health care and doing away with the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. Ocasio-Cortez is also championing the Green New Deal, which centers around topics like renewable energy, building smart grids, pushing for low-emissions transportation and more.