Actor Alan Alda, a visiting professor at Stony Brook University, will share his passion for science communication in a free, public talk, “Getting Beyond a Blind Date With Science,” on Thursday, February 19, at 7 pm in the Student Activities Center Auditorium.
Why is it so important for scientists, engineers and health professionals to communicate effectively with the public? And how can they learn to do it better? Alda will explore these questions with his characteristic warmth and wit. He will draw on personal experiences, including his years as host of the TV series Scientific American Frontiers. In speaking with hundreds of scientists for that program, he saw that they communicate much better when they carry on real, personal conversations about their work, rather than lecturing or falling back on technical language.
Alda brought that insight to Stony Brook, inspiring the University’s School of Journalism to create the Center for Communicating Science in 2009. The Center was renamed is his honor in 2013, and has become a national leader in helping current and future scientists learn to share their work more effectively with the public.
“For years, I worked to bring communication and science together in a fundamental way. And now Stony Brook is helping it happen — here and across the country,” said Alda. “The blossoming of the Center for Communicating Science in the School of Journalism at Stony Brook is a dream come true for me.”
Alda will also participate in a workshop for Stony Brook science faculty members on Friday, February 20. Interested faculty members can contact the Alda Center at (631) 632-2130 or email AldaCenter@stonybrook.edu.
The Alda Center offers courses in Communicating Science to graduate, medical, nursing and dental students at Stony Brook. It has conducted workshops for faculty and students at universities around the country. Its Alda Kavli Leadership Program offers special programs for senior science leaders who already are on the front lines representing their institutions or their fields. The Center also is building a network of affiliated programs to collaborate on helping scientists communicate better with people outside their own field.