Mayim Bialik’s Ph.D. Actually Helped Shape ‘The Big Bang Theory’
Mayim Bialik joined the cast of The Big Bang Theory in the show’s third season and quickly changed its dynamic for the better. The addition of Bialik, who earned a Ph.D. in 2007, did more than change the cast’s dynamic, though. Her educational background influenced the show a great deal.
Mayim Bialik received a Ph.D. in neuroscience in 2007
Before starring in The Big Bang Theory, Bialik was best known for her role in Blossom in the 1990s. Bialik portrayed the title character for five years but seemed to fall off the map after the show ended. While some may have assumed that she couldn’t get acting roles, she was up to something pretty important. Bialik was in college.
The mother of two has been open about how much she values education. In several interviews, she explained that college was always going to happen, but her path to a Ph.D. was more about the academic challenge and her love of science. In a 2017 interview for National Geographic, she told Neil Degrasse Tyson, ” I loved going to UCLA and doing something that was very challenging academically. I loved doing research with adolescents with special needs—that was seven years of my life. It was exciting to get my Ph.D. in 2007. But in terms of time to raise my two sons, the flexible life of an actor was better than the long hours of a research professor.”
The writers created Bialik’s character on The Big Bang Theory with her education in mind
Bialik’s background in neuroscience was considered a massive asset to the creators of The Big Bang Theory. In 2012, Bialik sat down with Conan O’Brien to discuss her time on the series. In the interview, she said that her education directly influenced the decision to make Amy Farrah Fowler a neurobiologist.
She explained that when the writers decided to bring Amy back as a semi-regular character in season 4, they elected to make her a neurobiologist because Bialik would be able to correct any mistakes. She didn’t say what Amy’s career path would have been if she hadn’t landed the role, though.
Bialik often helped fact check science concepts presented in the show
Bialik once stated that she added her Ph.D. to her resume before auditioning for The Big Bang Theory. It ended up being a good move. Not only did Bialik land the role as Amy, but she was also used fairly regularly to fact check the scientific concepts from her field of study.
Bialik wasn’t the only person fact-checking the series, though. Chuck Lorre and his team employed a consultant who went through each script to ensure that their science facts were as close to accurate as possible.