My Love Affair with the Brain: The Life and Science of Dr. Marian Diamond

This informative documentary, narrated by TV-star Mayim Bialik and produced by Emmy Award winning filmmakers Catherine Ryan and Gary Weimberg, profiles a beloved UC Berkeley professor, one of the under-recognized, outstanding women of science.

The film illustrates her scientific accomplishments (many well-known already, even if Dr. Diamond’s role is not) and introduces to the viewer the warm and thoroughly charming scientist herself, who describes her 60-year career researching the human brain as “pure joy.”

As one of the founders of modern neuroscience, it is no exaggeration to say that Dr. Diamond not only changed science but also society at large in dramatic ways. Her groundbreaking work is all the more remarkable because it began during an era when so few women entered science at all.

She challenged the old understanding of how the brain works, decisively demonstrating for the first time what we now call brain plasticity, the ability of the brain to change due to environmental/behavioral factors. Plasticity, once a controversial scientific battleground, is now taken for granted, a core concept in neuroscience. She also was the first to publish a study of the brain of Albert Einstein, fueling another revolution: a new understanding the glial cell, the 80% of the brain that supposedly ‘did nothing. Most of all, the film reveals her passion for the brain and for a scientific-life well-lived, which emotionally engages audiences deeply enough to inspire both laughter and heart-felt tears