Women scientists hiding out in Hollywood

To celebrate the 88th Academy Awards, #DiscovHER is celebrating exceptional women scientists who also happen to be actresses!

When you think “woman scientist”, you may not immediately think Hollywood… #DiscovHER is checking out a few of the talented actresses who may just make you re-think that pesky scientist stereotype.

Danica McKellar 

You may recognize McKellar as Winnie Cooper from the hit 80s and 90s TV series The Wonder Years, or as Elsie Snuffin on The West Wing. But, what you may not know is that she is also a bona fide mathematician and advocate for math education. She’s been using her UCLA math degree to make math cool for young girls. Author of four math books (for girls), including Girls Get Curves: Geometry Take Shape and Math Doesn’t Suck, she is out to prove that “you can have both – you can be smart, play with fashion, be a glam girl – there’s no contradiction.

Lisa Kudrow 


Kudrow is best known for her role as the loveable, quirky, and, well, ditzy Pheobe on the hit TV series Friends. But, did you know that she also holds a BA degree in Biology from Vassar College in New York? She even did some research for her dad, a world-renowned headache specialist and physician, on the comparative likelihood of left-handed individuals developing cluster headaches.

Teri Hatcher 

Over the years, Hatcher has played leading roles in the extremely successful TV series The New Adventures of Superman and Desperate Housewives. But her academic background may just surprise you. Hatcher studied mathematics and engineering at De Anza College before her breakout roles as an actress.

Natalie Portman 

Oscar winner? Check. Talented Scientist? Check. Beyond her acting talents, which have catapulted her to among the world’s best actors, Portman has been an avid science lover since she was young. She was a semi-finalist in the Intel Science Talent Search, considered the nation’s most elite and demanding high school research competition, has a degree from Harvard in Psychology, and is a strong advocate for offering girls a chance to get involved in STEM.


Ok, so SCIRENS isn’t the name of just one actress… It’s a group of 4 self-proclaimed “science enthusiastic actresses” who are on a mission to advocate for science literacy and inspire “scientifically infused entertainment in all forms”. Taryn O’Neill, Christina Ochoa, Tamara Krinsky and Gia Mora work together via social media to “cultivate science in the general public”.

These talented women are breaking down stereotypes and advocating for more opportunities in the sciences for young girls. We’re inspired! Are you? Let us known on Twitter, @4womeninscience #Forwomeninscience

For Women in Science

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