NOVA scienceNOW Web Series Reveals TV Star Mayim Bialik As A Neuroscientist ... Playing A Neuroscientist

Star of The Big Bang Theory and Blossom Reveals How Science Saved Her on Emmy®-Nominated Web Series The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers, at

Feb 14, 2013, 09:58 ET from NOVA scienceNOW

BOSTON, Feb. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- What is the correct way to store brains for scientific study? How does your life change when you fall in love with the neuron? How does a child star grow up without going to rehab?

Ask Mayim Bialik, the newest profilee in The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers and star of the hit comedy The Big Bang Theory. In NOVA's Emmy®-nominated, WGBH-TV-produced web series The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers, fans will learn that Bialik has a lot in common with her quirky Big Bang Theory character Amy Farrah Fowler. In real life – as on the show – Bialik is a neuroscientist.

In a series of intimate and fast-paced, first-person interviews now posted at, Bialik charts her unusual journey from child star of the '90s sitcom Blossom, to neuroscientist and Emmy-nominated actress. While many girls like her Blossom character dreamed of being a Hollywood celebrity, Bialik fell in love with science and put her Hollywood career on hold to pursue a Ph.D. Her neuroscience expertise now comes in handy as she helps Big Bang Theory writers get the science right on the sitcom.

In her Secret Life videos, Mayim Bialik reveals:

  • What saved her from the "curse" of child stardom
  • Bialik's journey from the set of a hit TV series, to the science lab – and back to TV
  • How the Blossom set became a learning laboratory
  • Whether The Big Bang Theory's Amy Farrah Fowler prefers Sheldon or Leonard
  • Why young girls should stop thinking of science as a "boys subject"

The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers is a web series that colors a playful, humanizing snapshot of innovators who are shaping our world. Each episode profiles one of today's leading scientists, and shows what happens when the lab coats come off – like a biologist who is also a professional wrestler, or a NASA astronomer who puts on fifty pounds of historical costuming to recreate Renaissance dances.

Why explore the lives of scientists outside the lab? "Today, we know every intimate detail about actors and pop stars," says the series' executive producer, filmmaker Joshua Seftel. "The scientists in the Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers inspire people and are changing our world. We should know about them, too. And every now and then, some of those actors and celebrities are scientists."

Bialik isn't the only Secret Life scientist to have enjoyed Hollywood-style fame. Recent or upcoming Secret Life episodes include:   

  • Ian Lipkin – This Columbia University professor's pioneering work on pathogens and infectious disease earned him a consulting role on Contagion (2011), an acclaimed doomsday thriller that stars Matt Damon and Kate Winslet battling a global pandemic.
  • Paul Frommer – This university linguist, widely known for creating the Na'vi language spoken in James Cameron's box office-smashing film Avatar (2009), is featured in an upcoming episode of Secret Life.

Secret Life has also featured:

The Secret Life series has won acclaim for its innovative content and creative storytelling techniques. The American Association for the Advancement of Science awarded the Secret Life team the prestigious 2011 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award. Time magazine highlighted Secret Life as one of the most successful examples of media that makes science "cool" for young people.

Funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, this season's The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers will feature 16 scientists and engineers by the season's end. 

Follow the Secret Life blog, and join the discussion on Facebook or Twitter @secretlifer.

The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers is funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Funding for NOVA scienceNOW is provided by the National Science Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the George D. Smith Fund, and public television viewers. Funding for NOVA is provided by David H. Koch Fund for Science, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and PBS viewers.

Seftel Productions is a New York-based production company that produces award-winning documentaries, feature films, commercials, and digital media. Dedicated to creating artful, engaging work with a social conscience, their productions have appeared on HBO, PBS, A&E, Bravo, Showtime, and many others. Visit for more information.