On May 4, 2012, actress Mayim Bialik was featured on NPR's Science Friday program. I am a big fan of Bialik - not only does she play a neuroscientist on TV's The Big Bang Theory, she actually is one in real life. In 2007, she received her Ph.D in Neuroscience from UCLA, where she specialized in studying Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in adolescents with Prader-Willi syndrome (Source: MayimBialik.net).
On Science Friday, Bialik discussed such topics as her shift from academia to entertainment, the importance of keeping The Big Bang Theory scientifically accurate, and her education goals as the spokesperson for the scientific technology company, Texas Instruments.
For the full transcript of Mayim Bialik's interview on Science Friday, be sure to click here. Below are some highlights:
* Mayim shifted from academia to acting in order to spend more time with her young children.
* Mayim feels that she is very similar to Amy regarding their scientific backgrounds, but that Mayim exhibits slightly better "people skills".
* Mayim states, "...we are there to entertain. That is ultimately what we do. And so stereotypes are entertaining. They have been for all of entertainment history. I know people like all of those characters and then some, and to me, the fact that we're showing a slice of life of people who kind of live the way the rest of us live, meaning not the "Beverly Hills 90210" or the "Friends" kind of social structure. These are people who love science fiction. They love comic books. They view the world as scientists, and no one is psychoanalyzing them about it. This is a group of people who are how the rest of us live."
* About the "romance" between characters Amy Farrah Fowler and Sheldon Cooper: "I actually think that's a beautiful aspect of how they're portraying these characters. It's never, ever been brought up at all, really, what Amy looks like or is he attracted to her. He's attracted to her because she's brilliant, and that's enough for him despite the fact that she's not a physicist, which I think is very sweet."
* Regarding the scientific content on The Big Bang Theory: "in terms of how accurate we want it, that's super-important. It's very important to our writers and producers. Many of them are scientifically inclined. Many of them have backgrounds in sort of science, tech stuff, and I would say it's extremely important to us, and that's part of the fun of our show, I think, is the accuracy. Dr. David Salzberg is our physics consultant from UCLA. We do work hard on that stuff to make it accurate. It's important."
* Regarding her role as an Ambassador for Texas Instruments: "I actually, I teach neuroscience. I teach in our home school community. I've been teaching neuroscience since I got my degree. So our boys get a good dose of that and see that I'm still an active scientist. I actually - I'm the spokesperson for Texas Instruments, the graphing calculator and scientific calculator people. So we've already started our boys with the new NSpire. You know, we like to show them a lifestyle of science and math. And it's actually been really fun, that like with T.I., I get to have access to all, you know, all the like pH probes and temperature probes that can hook up to this calculator. We've started our boys as soon as possible... I think, you know, sociologically, it's also important, especially in communities that don't have funding and where kids can't imagine what it looks like to be a scientist. That's part of why I wanted to do this with T.I., to be able to show kids as young as possible these are the kinds of things scientists do, and you can do it. You can do it too. So yeah, I think it's tremendously important."
Miss Mayim, will you sign my vintage TI-83 Plus calculator, please?! Thank you!!!