The Big Bang Theory: Badass or Badness?

After hearing much chatter about it online I finally got round to watching all three seasons of the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory. And I love it.  Then I discovered, however, that some of my bestest scientist friends really dislike it. They think it sets back both the quest for realistic role models in science and the positive portrayal of women. It seems like the cute little sitcom, immensely popular both in the US and in Europe, is dividing opinions (and here, and  here) among scientists.  It’s been a while since I played around with polls, so here’s one for you. What do you think?

[polldaddy poll=3311142]


  1. I tried to watch the first episode of it, because a lot of people I knew were talking about it, but the laugh track was just too much for me. I actually don’t think I even made it through an entire episode of the show, so I really shouldn’t judge, but I’ve been told it actually gets a lot better after the first episode.

    It’s just not my style of television show, but, I have a great many colleagues/old classmates who absolutely love it because they get to see little snippets of their work appear on black boards in the backgrounds of shots. The fact that they really do have actual physicists on staff helping with the writing is certainly a plus, and a rarity for television. I really wanted to like it… but it’s just way too cheesy for me! The characters being goofy extremes of people certainly doesn’t help (although unfortunately, I also know a lot of people in physics who find the characters’ personal lives just as relatable as their research lives :p).

    It’s too silly for me, but, I don’t think it does anymore of a disservice to the images of scientists than anything else on TV. The most realistic media portrayals of academics I’ve seen have been in movies/plays like Proof, and that was just so depressingly realistic that it certainly wouldn’t encourage anyone to become a mathematician.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sarah Kendrew and Sarah Kendrew, Karen Masters. Karen Masters said: RT @sarahkendrew: if you watch Big Bang Theory, pls take this poll. sample size is everything! #bbt […]

  2. […] few days ago, I posted this poll about the show The Big Bang Theory, asking the question if it was bad for science (and women). I […]