The unexpected impact of Sheldon from “The Big Bang Theory” on the scientific world

According to the Smithsonian magazine, in 2012 a bee named after a popular phrase by Sheldon Cooper was discovered. The orchid bee was named Euglossa bazinga by Andre Nemesio of the Federal University of Uberlandia in Brazil. According to abstract of Zootaxa article written by André Nemesio and Rafael R. Ferrari, upon discovery, bees are found in “drier and more open habitats such as the savannah and the Brazilian Cerrado”.

According to the aforementioned Smithsonian Magazine article, the original article identifying the bee described why the scientists chose the name. “This epithet is given in honor of the smart, funny, charming “nerd” Sheldon Cooper, brilliantly played by North American actor James Joseph “Jim” Parsons in the CBS television show The Big Bang Theory. Sheldon Cooper’s favorite joke word “bazinga”, which he used when he was cheating on someone, was chosen to refer to the character here. Euglossa basinga cn. n. fooled us for some time due to its resemblance to E. ignitionwhich led us to use “basing”. The document goes on to indicate that there was also an asteroid named after Sheldon Cooper, known as 246247 Sheldoncooper.

No wonder scientists love the series so much that they name their discoveries after it. AT article for Physics Today, Margaret Weitekamp, ​​curator at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, wrote that the series portrays characters sympathetically, in contrast to many classic depictions of scientists, which depict them using stereotypes such as “mad scientist” or “absent-minded professor.” It would seem that scientists often find their portrayal on the show flattering. Perhaps there will be more scientific discoveries named after the popular sitcom in the future.

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