Female fans of the ‘90s sci-fi television series “The X-Files” apparently took the trials of lead character Dana Scully – an FBI agent and medical doctor played by Gillian Anderson – to heart. According to research from the Geena Davis Institute on Gender In Media cited in Fast Company, women who watched the show regularly were 50% more likely to work in STEM, and nearly two-thirds of the women surveyed who work in STEM say that Scully served as a role model.
The idea of women inspired by Scully to pursue careers in science is referred to as “The Scully Effect,” according to the article, and the data out of the Geena Davis Institute only backs up what many have reportedly known for years. Scully’s character at the time was unlike anyone previously seen on the small screen, Fast Company reports. Since Scully’s debut, new TV characters perhaps inspiring their own generation of women in science include Dr. Rainbow Johnson (Tracee Ellis Ross) on Black-ish, Dr. Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) on Bones, Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik) on The Big Bang Theory and Darlene Alderson (Carly Chaikin) on Mr. Robot.
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