As a show that is, if not actually about science, then certainly interested in using a lot of science-sounding words, The Big Bang Theory has a vested interest in keeping its audience well-educated. After all, what’s the point of referencing the Higgs boson particle on the way to a C- sex joke if no one in the audience knows what it is? To that end, (and also because they are, to be fair, good and generous people), the cast and crew of the show announced today that they’re funding a scholarship for students enrolling in the studies of the sciences, technology, engineering, and math at UCLA. So far, the group has raised $4 million, including donations from every member of the show’s main cast, as well as producer Chuck Lorre and dozens of others. With that money, the scholarship will be able to provide financial aid for 20 undergraduates this year, hopefully spurring them on to successful careers and scientific discoveries, such as finally finding the mysterious origin of the extradimensional laughter that follows the show’s cast from place to place.
The fund is also designed to continue into perpetuity, with 5 students every year receiving the award. These students will apparently be known as “Big Bang Theory Scholars,” which should roll right off the presenter’s tongue at the Nobel Prize ceremony some 40 years down the line. And while these scholarships are focused on students in math and science paths, it’s hoped that at least some of those sharp young minds will also dabble in the exciting new field of Bazingasnarkonomics, the study of finding new mean things to say about The Big Bang Theory. That’s suddenly very important, since, if the collected writers, actors, and producers keep doing things like paying to send a bunch of kids to college, America’s entertainment writers are going to burn through their finite supply of snideness about the show at a dangerously unsustainable pace.
UPDATE: The original version of this article listed the scholarship amount as $40 million, instead of the actual amount of $4 million. The author of the article apologizes for the error, and will presumably be reminded of this mistake every time he criticizes The Big Bang Theory for being careless or sloppy for the rest of his life.