Media Coverage

Creating buzz about science to help solve pressing global challenges

Phys.Org, August, 2014

Leading science communicators will share their latest strategies on how to capture the coveted attention of young students, the public and policymakers to strengthen the scientific enterprise. They will speak at the 248th National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society, taking place Aug. 10 to 14 in San Francisco. Continue reading

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Smarter than a sixth grader?

CNBC, May 2014

“MASH” Star Alda Alda talks about the role of his lifetime. The actor turned teacher reveals how he’s encouraging kids’ love of science through his “The Flame Challenge,” where scientists attempt to answer deceptively simple questions and are then judged by thousands of 11-year-olds. Continue reading

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Alan Alda and Eric Kandel discuss science, psychiatry and the media

Elsevier Connect, May 14, 2014

Dr. Eric Kandel is the only psychiatrist to win a Nobel Prize. Alan Alda gained fame as Army surgeon Hawkeye Pierce on M*A*S*H. Both have brought public awareness to science from their appearances on PBS. And both received equal amounts of respect and laughter as they told a packed audience at the Javitz Center how they became interested in science and psychiatry. Continue reading

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Legendary Actor Alan Alda Visits Weill Cornell’s Oates Communications Skills Curriculum

Weill Cornell Medical College, May 13, 2014
Alan Alda is not a doctor, but he sure was convincing as one on T.V. So it’s no surprise that after playing medic Hawkeye Pierce on “M*A*S*H*” and hosting PBS’ “Scientific American Frontiers” for 12 years that the legendary actor has become a crusader for effective science communication. Continue reading

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Alan Alda’s Quest to Put Story to Science

Scientific American, April 5, 2014
Science scares people. All too often, I am confronted by the perception of science as an institution of white-haired professors mixing colorful concoctions in underground laboratories. (Because, let’s be honest, most of the things chemists mix don’t have interesting colors). In the lab, the science is only as good as the data. On the street, however, it’s only as good as the story it tells.
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Memo to Science Nerds: Learn Improv

Al Jazeera America, March 15, 2014
“Scientists need to make abstract concepts clear and relevant to any audience they are talking to,” says Lantz-Gefroh. The exercise “is a playful way of getting them to be vivid and expressive when selling a nonsensical idea and then apply those lessons to talking about their real science.” Continue reading

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Acting Up

Nature Podcast, March 20, 2014
Science students at New York’s Stony Brook University are taking classes in improvisation to help improve the way they communicate. Continue reading

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Alan Alda, Spokesman for Science

The New York Times, Feb. 2014
The most popular speaker at the recent meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science was not a scientist but one of science’s most high-profile advocates: the actor and writer Alan Alda.
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Advocating and Teaching Science Communication

Telling Your Story: A How-To Guide / AAAS, January 2014
Persuaded of the need for researchers to learn how to tell their own stories–not just to scientists or science enthusiasts, but to the general public–he helped to found the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University in 2009. The center “works to enhance understanding of science by help- ing train the next generation of scientists and health profes- sionals to communicate more effectively with the public, public officials, the media and others outside their own discipline.” Continue reading

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End with the Beginning

Telling Your Story: A How-To Guide / AAAS, January 2014
Good communicators may have varying strate- gies for effectively presenting scientific material and connecting with audiences, but most agree on one thing: It’s often the last few moments that count the most. Continue reading

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Communication: Spontaneous scientists, January, 2014
A circle of scientists is gazing skyward, as if watching a ball fly through the air as they play an animated game of catch. But there is no ball — and this game is serious work. It is part of an exercise to help 12 scientists at the University of Connecticut (UConn) Health Center in Farmington to boost their communication skills. Continue reading

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Dartmouth Works With Alda Center for Communicating Science

Dartmouth Now, Jan. 3, 3014

During his Montgomery Fellow residency in October, Emmy-winning actor Alan Alda shared his science communication insights with more than 200 undergraduates and two master classes for graduate students and faculty members. Continue reading

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Alan Alda at Dartmouth College: The Joy of Science

Valley News, Oct. 2013
Alan Alda has told the story plenty of times before, and on Thursday delivered it to a packed, rapt house at the Hopkins Center. It goes like this: About a decade ago, he was on location, shooting Scientific American Frontiers, the PBS science show he hosts, atop a mountain in Chile. He felt a pain in his side. It soon became unbearable. Continue reading

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Give It To Me Straight: How Alan Alda, neighborhood bars and mime fit into an ongoing campaign to get scientists to tell it like it is

Hemispheres Magazine, Sept. 2013
“I’ve been using Dioscoreales as a model system,” says the botanist at the front of the room, describing her work in exploring the diversity of leaf forms, “because Dioscoreales are vining monocots, as you probably know.” Judging by the looks on their faces, the people in the audience probably don’t know this—which is pretty much the point of this exercise. Continue reading

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Brains on Trial with Alan Alda Explores How Neuroscience Could Change the Law, Sept. 2013
As brain scanning techniques advance, their influence in criminal cases is becoming critically important. An innovative two-part series, Brains on Trial with Alan Alda, airing Wednesday, September 11 and 18, 2013, 10-11 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), explores how the growing ability to separate truth from lies, even decode people’s thoughts and memories, may radically affect how criminal trials are conducted in the future. Continue reading

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Scientific American Lifetime Achievement Award for Alan Alda


Alan Alda was on National Public Radio’s The Take Away with John Hockenberry, August 8, 2013, to discuss his passion for, “Reigniting the Public’s Love of Science.” Alda discusses the lifetime achievement award he received from Scientific American, and why … Continue reading

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Professor Alan Alda teaches scientists how to speak

CBS News, June 2013
In 1971 he shot a pilot for a TV show based on the movie “MASH.” He figured it would probably last a year. He said the medical jargon he used on “MASH” was hard to remember. “In fact, sometimes I’d write it on the patients’ bellies while I was operating on them. Continue reading

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Alan Alda tells scientists to cut the jargon, tell a story

Alan Alda talks to scientists about effective communication during a May 22 workshop. (Lindsay France/Cornell University Photography)

Cornell Chronicle, May 2013
To some, the sports section of a newspaper is incomprehensible gibberish – kind of like the way people talk in Hollywood, Alan Alda told a roomful of Cornell scientists May 22. Continue reading

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Alan Alda wants scientists to cut out the jargon

(Associated Press Photography)

Associated Press, April 2013
Among the procedures Army surgeon Hawkeye Pierce performed on “M.A.S.H.” was an end-to-end anastomosis. Most of the viewers, actor Alan Alda concedes, had no idea he was talking about removing a damaged piece of intestine and reconnecting the healthy pieces. Continue reading

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Why Alan Alda wants you to find answers in science

Actor Alan Alda with Ron Prosor, Richard Gelfond, Samuel J. Stanley, president of Stony Brook University and Carl Bernstein at Stony Brook University's annual gala at Pier Sixty in Manhattan. Alda was honored for creating the Center for Communicating Science. April 24, 2013. (Agaton Strom)

Newsday Opinion, April 2013
To the extent that the world improves, it will be science that makes it better. That’s not to say spirituality, morality and religion can’t help, but innovations in those spheres are unlikely, and would cause as much harm as good anyway. Continue reading

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