So I just read this speech. RichardDawkins.net Tweeted the link. Bill Nye's awesome points went up by one. The speech is full of good bits, but among my favorites is one from the Q&A afterward:
It gets me when people ask, why are you guys doing that? Why are you sending a mission to Pluto? What are you going to find? We don’t know—that’s why we’re going!
Nice. When I hear people asking why, I always think "well, because we finally figured out how." I mean, why wouldn't we? It makes me sad when people don't get how important pure science is -- especially space exploration. If we don't get this climate change thing under control, or if we run out of room, or if an asteroid or something is coming for us, we'd better not all be on the same rock. For real. We're getting a near miss in April of 2029 and again in April of 2036 from one particular asteroid, named Apophis. (Stargate fans, of course, are used to the Earth being threatened by Apophis.)
Anyway, yeah. go read Bill's speech. And revel in the knowledge that some scientists are also famous, beloved television personalities.