Tuning in to Science on TV, with Mayim Bialik

Scene from “The Workplace Proximity” episode of The Big Bang Theory. Image Courtesy of CBS, via thebigbangtheory.wikia.com.

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About This Episode

Is science trending on TV and in pop culture? Could that encourage women to get into STEM? Find out from Neil Tyson and his guests this week: neuroscientist and actress Mayim Bialik (Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory), astronomer, STEM advocate and StarTalk All-Stars host Summer Ash, and actress/writer Taryn O’Neill. You’ll hear how a high school biology tutor inspired Mayim, who was starring in Blossom at the time, to believe she could become a scientist, eventually earning a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA even though it didn’t come naturally to her. Summer describes how the reality of women in science goes deeper than the “extreme nerd/girly girl” dichotomy, while Mayim discusses the difference between Amy and Bernadette on TBBT when it comes to “sexiness.” Data journalist Mona Chalabi dives into the statistical discrepancy between how men and women are treated in science, and Taryn explains why it’s so important to showcase stories of women scientists, from particle physicists at CERN working on the Large Hadron Collider, to entomologists in the Amazon rain forest. Find out about the reality of imposter syndrome, and the role hard work plays in success. Explore the differences between geeks and nerds with co-host Chris Hardwick, the original Nerdist, who revisits some early nerd role models and explains why it’s better to be punched by a jock than attacked by a nerd. Plus, Chuck Nice heads out into the street to ask people if they can name any women in science, and Bill Nye talks about science on TV and the importance of harnessing all our available brainpower (i.e., women!) to change the world.

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