Alan Alda is definitely in a category of his own when it comes to science outreach: he’s obviously most famous for being an actor (between M*A*S*H and who knows how many other TV and movie appearances), but he’s also been host of a number of science programs on PBS called Scientific American Frontiers. Recently, he is a visiting professor at SUNY-Stony Brook, where he teaches at the Center for Communicating Science.
The talk Alda gave at the National Science Foundation explains in a far better way than I could what our role is as science communicators (whatever medium we use). It’s long, but worth your while to listen and watch. One point he emphasizes over and over is how we scientists are tasked to inspire, to share the love we have for the work we do. It’s often easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day details of research, of teaching, of whatever…but we are still ambassadors for science as a discipline, whether we are reaching out to the general public, our colleagues, or our students.
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[…] Alda is best known as an actor, but he’s also a major advocate for science outreach. Recently, he wrote and staged a play about the life of Marie Curie; Jason Goldman interviewed Alda […]