But "Simpsons science" is not limited to agricultural oddities and obscure theories that elicit geeky giggles from its well-pedigreed writers. In addition to Herschbach, scientific luminaries such as Stephen Hawking and the late Steve Gould have also made guest appearances, a coveted role to be sure, throughout the show's history.
"I don't know which is a bigger disappointment — my failure to formulate a unified field theory or you," Hawking tells principal Skinner when a MENSA group tries to take over Springfield.
Ultimately, despite its scientific lineage, "The Simpsons" is designed to make people laugh and to poke fun at everyone — even scientists.
"Overall, science is not the strong point of the series, but I do think it helps people to come to grips with scientific things," Kaku said. "When 'The Simpsons' talks about science, it talks about it in a different way."
That way, according to fans both in and outside the scientific community, is pure fun.