Little bears are celebrating the end of Science Week with a marathon of their favourite science show, The Big Bang Theory 🙂
And we have the Lego Big Bang Theory Set!
The show premiered on CBS on September 24, 2007. The ninth season premiers next month in the US while season 8 comes out on DVD in Australia next month. We, of course, have the all the DVDs. The show has been extended to 2017.
Jim Parsons (Sheldon Cooper) has won the Emmy for Best Actor in a Comedy Series four times out of a total seven nominations (2014, 2013, 2011 and 2010). On January 16, 2011, Parsons was awarded a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical, an award that was presented by co-star Kaley Cuoco.
The show has won the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Comedy four times (2010, 2013, 2014, 2015) . There’s also been Critics choice awards, AFI awards, and other awards.
The show is simply funny! It follows the lives of four nerdy, socially awkward scientists, and it is the most-watched comedy on television and loved for its geeky references. In the last few years, the idea of being a geek or a nerd has suddenly become a ‘cool’ concept. Fashion has changed to incorporate glasses that would previously have been considered nerdy, and comic books rule the cinemas. It is debatable that one of the reasons behind this change of TV heroes moving from The Fonz to Sheldon Cooper is all down to The Big Bang Theory.
Cashing in on the geekiness of the show, there are constant references to various TV shows, comics, films and personalities that these characters worship, much to the annoyance and confusion of the girls on the show. There are plenty of mentions of the Marvel universe, Batman, Superman, Game of Thrones, Star Trek, Star Wars etc.
The only reason we have joined the Marvel fandom is because of Big Bang Theory. It does help that the costumes for little bears are soooo cute…. 🙂
The Big Bang Theory knows their audience and it celebrates its core audience fandom with cameos from pop culture icons: several Star Trek characters, Wil Wheaton, LeVar Burton, Brent Spiner and George Takei, as well as Katee Sackhoff, Eliza Dushku, Stan Lee, Summer Glau and Nathan Fillion, James Earl Jones and Carrie Fisher.
Viewers are also inundated with a ton of physics jargon. And the science on the show is real! David Saltzberg has been the show’s one and only science consultant since it premiered. He has a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Chicago and did a post-doctorate at CERN. Before that he gained a Bachelor’s in physics at Princeton University and now teaches at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). When he’s not sifting through scripts or on the set, you can find him in the classroom or searching for neutrinos in Antarctica or working in Switzerland on the Large Hadron Collider.
For the science behind the scenes, check out The Big Blog Theory https://thebigblogtheory.wordpress.com
The whiteboards the characters use for equations have actually changed into something where real scientists pitch David Saltzberg their latest results and ask if they can appear on them. Dozens of scientists are watching those boards. Sometimes you can even see the “progress,” and now fans have dedicated websites to discuss what equations and formulas are on the boards. The big discovery of gravitational waves, which indicated cosmological inflation, got a special place. It appeared on Stephen Hawking’s board, which of course is a much higher level than the main characters’ boards. That was actually vetted by Hawking himself.
The Big Bang Theory also celebrates its core audience fandom with cameos from some of the greatest minds in the universe. Dr. Stephen William Hawking needs no introduction and Dr. Brian Greene was lampooned by the character Sheldon Cooper for his popularising of physics with his books The Fabric of the Cosmos and The Elegant Universe.
Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist Dr. George Fitzgerald Smoot III, as well as Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, who was at the centre of the controversy over Pluto’s status as a planet, have also made appearances.
NASA astronaut Dr. Michael J. Massimino, veteran of two Space Shuttle missions which serviced the Hubble Space Telescope, featured heavily in one episode.
Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, also made a cameo…
As did Steve Wozniak, one of the founders of Apple Computers alongside with Steve Jobs.
On the night that Curiosity arrived on Mars, The Big Bang Theory co-producers Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady were guests at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to watch the entry, descent and landing.
So it seemed only fair that NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) EDL team would then visit the set of The Big Bang Theory.
The Big Bang Theory has helped make scientists look cool on TV. Now the series and its executive producer Chuck Lorre are looking to help foster new generations of scientists with financial aid for low-income college students. Big Bang and the Chuck Lorre Family Foundation have established The Big Bang Theory Scholarship Endowment at UCLA for undergraduate students in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
The scholarship endowment has raised $4 million to date, including an initial donation from the Chuck Lorre Family Foundation combined with gifts from people associated with the show, including series stars, executive producers and crew, and partners such as WBTV and CBS.
The Big Bang Theory scholarship will launch with 20 students — mostly freshmen — for the 2015–16 academic year, with an additional five students to be added in each future academic year — in perpetuity. The inaugural group of recipients will be announced in fall 2015 on the set of The Big Bang Theory, and they will likely have a continuous presence on the show, visiting from time to time.
There’s additional existing connection between UCLA and The Big Bang Theory. The original idea to do something in the field of financial aid for deserving science students came from Lorre’s conversations with UCLA professor of physics and astronomy David Saltzberg. Additionally, series star Mayim Bialik earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA.
The Big Bang Theory Scholarship Endowment is slated to go on way beyond the lifespan of the show that started it. Lorre is confident that there is enough funds to keep supporting STEM students for years to come.