Alan Alda, an actor and writer known widely for his role in the hit TV series M*A*S*H has redefined himself in the past two decades as a crusader for science communication. For 11 years Alda hosted Scientific American Frontiers, a PBS series in which he interviewed hundreds of scientists about breakthroughs in science, engineering, and medicine.
Alda realized that conversational interviews lead scientists to present their work spontaneously and vividly. He wondered if scientists could learn to communicate by paying closer attention to their audiences, and trying to connect with them in a personal way. Using improvisational techniques he learned over 50 years of acting, he devised The Alda Method®. Since 2009, thousands of scientists and medical professionals have participated in Alda Method workshops.
Effective science communication happens when we listen and connect. It happens when we use empathy. Communication is headed for success when we pay more attention to what the other person is understanding rather than focusing solely on what we want to say. - Alan Alda
Why Science Communication Matters
- Inform sound economic and policy decisions on the local, regional, national, and international scale
- Increase support for research funding, and improve cross-disciplinary collaboration to solve the world's greatest challenges
- Help us make informed decisions for our families and ourselves
- Create a sense of wonder and joy in the natural world around us
- Improve health outcomes for patients,
- Prevent burnout in healthcare professionals
- Build understanding, empathy and respect between people of different backgrounds and opinions