When Alan Alda was 11-years-old, he asked his teacher, “What’s a flame?” Her response—“It’s oxidation”—left him both disappointed and still in the dark. From this moment of discouragement blossomed today’s Flame Challenge, now in its seventh year: a contest that challenges scientists all over the world to explain a basic scientific concept simply and clearly enough that an 11-year-old can understand. This year’s Flame Challenge is “What is climate?” It’s not an easy question to answer. In this program, we will meet the winners of the challenge, hear their simple yet brilliantly clear explanations of climate, and even see a man-made floor-to-ceiling tornado.
This program is in association with The Flame Challenge™, an annual contest held by the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University.