Project with Maritime connection gets mention on "The Big Bang Theory"
Published Monday, December 3, 2012 6:59PM AST
Last Updated Monday, December 3, 2012 7:46PM AST
For decades, the University of New Brunswick has been exporting its work and its graduates.
They’ve been gobbled up by the likes of Microsoft, NASA and countless other high-profile organizations.
Now, the university can add CTV sitcom “The Big Bang Theory” to its list.
“My wife is a big fan of it and watches it regularly, so I will sometimes join her, but I haven’t really followed it,” says John Spray, director of the University of New Brunswick’s planetary and space science centre.
Spray is also a part of a team of scientists from around the globe that are contributing to the Mars Rover Project.
The team recently developed a piece on the Rover that is helping to analyze the Martian surface – a project recently mentioned on an episode of the popular sitcom.
“The fact it's mentioned means to me that what I would've thought, originally, as being difficult and obscure stuff, we're doing and you have to be highly trained to understand it, is not the case, you can actually follow this," says Spray.
Now in its sixth season, “The Big Bang Theory” features characters with a science background, so the connection to a space exploration project is natural.
While extremely subtle, UNB’s connection has become a talking point on campus.
"I wish people knew it came from here, but it shows how much research they're doing and that it'll pay off in the end for how much we're paying to do this stuff," says UNB student Tegan Smith.
The popularity of “The Big Bang Theory” and its reference to a project with a Maritime connection may help foster local interest in the Mars mission.
Spray says that interest was already growing on its own and for good reason.
“This mission is for everyone, to further our collective understanding of the solar system and this interesting planet which may have harboured life in the past," says Spray.
A planet which Spray believes might host human life, maybe within the next century – a theory even Dr. Sheldon Cooper might agree with.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Andy Campbell.