Alan Alda teaches scientists how to communicate better

Our friends at recently published an Alan Aldainteresting story about the efforts of Alan Alda to teach scientists how to communicate their research and discoveries to the world.

Here’s some excerpts:

“We need to talk to the public,” Alda says. “This is holding back the country, and it’s holding back the world from making progress on what we now know.” He encountered this failure to relate ideas repeatedly when he interviewed hundreds of the world’s top scientists about their discoveries for Scientific American Frontiers, a show that ran on public television from 1993-2005.


For Alda the problem starts at the most basic level of communication. “The affect, facial expression body language — these are things that you wouldn’t think are part of a scientific presentation,” he says. “Emotion is so important. In scientific communication emotion is probably trained out of us, but there’s no reason why it can’t be included. Science is a great detective story, especially when you’re talking to the public. You want them to get involved in this interesting, emotional tangle.”

You can read the complete article here.

Here’s a look at the program Mr. Alda is running at The Center for Communicating Science: