My love of documentaries narrated by David Attenborough is no secret.
But as much as I love Attenborough, I do wonder: Where are all the lady science narrators? Attenborough passed the torch, such as he has it, to Brian Cox, a British physicist with a “sexy” haircut (those quotation marks are totally necessary). Other famous science program narrators include Carl Sagan and our favorite, Neil deGrasse Tyson. But where are all the ladies?
I polled the Persephoneers, and the first who came to mind was Isabella Rossellini, host of the amazing Green Porno series.
The honorable mention went to Sigourney Weaver, who narrated the American version of Planet Earth. But let’s be honest, we (or at least I) would have rather listened to David Attenborough, who narrated the British version.
But there simply aren’t women producing science documentaries (that we know of). So here are our nominees:
Mary Roach: Roach is the author of several amazing science reads, including Gulp. Her ability to write for a large-scale, popular audience demonstrates her appeal. Now when will she make a documentary that I can watch?
Isabella Rosselini: She deserves two mentions in this article. She’s got an appealing accent and a clever approach to science. I would happily listen to her tell me about the natural world.
Mayim Bialik: She has a PhD in neuroscience and popular appeal. I’m sure she could use her pop-culture savvy and science knowledge to create some awesome documentaries. I do need to take away points for lack of a sexy accent.
Sarah Vowell: She’s got a wry sense of humor, a distinctive voice, and she kicks ass at writing about history. I’m sure all those skills are relevant to making science documentaries.
Emily Graslie: She’s already got the coolest job title ever (Chief Curiosity Officer of the Field Museum in Chicago) and a YouTube series called The Brain Scoop. She’s also really young, so if she starts now she could do as many cool documentaries as David Attenborough. She’d be a shoo-in if only she had a British accent.
Hillary: Of course I have to nominate Persephone’s science reporter. So, deities of science documentaries, why don’t you give her a call and let us enjoy her narration of the next big PBS production?
Who would you nominate as the female version of David Attenborough?