Alan Alda’s Burning Question: What is a Flame?
Actor and science advocate Alan Alda invites scientists, teachers, and others who care about science communication to join in the discussion of one of the vital questions of our time: how to help society understand science better. Alan will report on intriguing—and sometimes surprising—results from the Flame Challenge, a worldwide contest that asked scientists to explain a flame in terms that would engage an 11-year-old. More than 6,000 11-year-olds judged the entries, but their responses provide lessons for scientists communicating with audiences of any age. We will discuss innovative techniques pioneered by the Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University, where scientists are learning communication skills as a fundamental part of their science education.
Alan AldaActor, Author, Director Alan Alda, a six-time Emmy Award–winner, played Hawkeye Pierce on the classic television series, M*A*S*H, and appeared in continuing roles on ER, The West Wing, and 30 Rock. His long-time interest in science and in promoting a greater public understanding of science led to his hosting the award-winning PBS series Scientific American Frontiers for eleven years, on which he interviewed hundreds of scientists from around the world. More »