Jim Parsons, lead actor in the physicist sitcom Big Bang Theory, wins second Emmy
What’s the effect of this show’s nerd caricatures on public perceptions of the physics profession?
September 20, 2011Published: September 20, 2011
CBS’s enormously successful situation comedy The Big Bang Theory, which exploits caricatures of nerdy physicists in nonscience social situations, was nominated this year for three Emmy awards. On 18 September, the actor who portrays one of the physicists won his second Emmy in a row, for best comedy actor. As a Reuters announcement puts it, Jim Parsons won for “his performance as geeky physicist Sheldon Cooper.”
As discussed earlier, in a July “Science and the media” report, this heightened visibility renews a physics community question: How does this show affect public views of physics and physicists?
Steven T. Corneliussen, a media analyst for the American Institute of Physics, monitors three national newspapers, the weeklies Nature and Science, and occasionally other publications. His reports to AIP are collected each Friday for "Science and the media." He has published op-eds in the Washington Post and other newspapers, has written for NASA's history program, and is a science writer at a particle-accelerator laboratory.