A Manchester computer science expert says hit TV show, The Big Bang Theory, is not only scientifically accurate but is also a good example of the work real life professors do on a day to day basis.
Dr Furber CBE revealed the relationship between scientists and engineers at Manchester University, though not as characterised, often resembles that of the popular US sitcom.
The show is cantered on five loveable geeks who work in the science department of a California university.
Dr Furber told MM: “One of my favourite TV programmes at the moment is the Big Bang Theory, where they do a pretty good job of the science.
“The interesting interaction between the scientists in the one room and Penny in the other room, those are quite interesting and I think reasonably authentically portrayed.
“We don’t actually see much of Howard’s work do we, we’ve seen him on the space station briefly, but we go in to Sheldon and Leonard’s lab, and we see some of the physics happening and the biology but we don’t see the engineering, which is interesting.”
Dr Furber, who is a member of the Royal Society, is primarily an engineer, and is a specialist in human intelligence, working on artificial intelligence.
The PHD doctor has been at Manchester University since 2000, and is making key discoveries towards understanding the human brain.
So we can take his word for it when he says the science aspect of the show is often correct.
He said: “I think one of the things I like about the programme is it generally gets its science right.
“They have very good science advisors, so when Sheldon goes off into one of his incomprehensible bursts on physics he’s almost certainly saying something which is current theory at least.”
Despite the comparison to Howard, Dr Furber’s work is far from building space toilets but he believes the imagination is important in making scientific discoveries.
He added: “Science fiction is very useful in allowing you to imagine the world and think of some of the problems which arise which aren’t purely technical.
“I mean, while we engineers get on with trying to solve some of the technical problems that allows us to get there.”
Image courtesy of CBS via YouTube, with thanks.