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Alan Alda, Elizabeth Stone to appear on NPR’s “Science Friday”

Alan AldaStony Brook’s Alan Alda and Elizabeth Stone will be heard in separate segments of  this week’s edition of Science Friday, the popular NPR radio program hosted by award-winning journalist Ira Flatow. The show begins at 3:00 pm on Friday, March 23, and can be heard live over the Internet.

Famed actor Alda, who is a visiting professor at the Stony Brook University School of Journalism, will discuss the Flame Challenge, a month-long contest sponsored by Stony Brook’s Center for Communicating Science. The contest, Alda’s brainchild, will test how well scientists can explain the nature of a candle flame to a panel of 11-year-old judges.

An interview with Elizabeth Stone, a Professor in the Department of Anthropology, will follow, during which she will discuss her team’s recent excavations in Iraq, the first by a foreign team in more than a decade and the first by an American team in more than 20 years. Professor Stone and her team have just received permission from the Iraq Minister of Culture to excavate at Ur, which would be the first major dig at the site since it was excavated in the 1920s by Sir Leonard Woolley.

Alda is also scheduled to appear in a Friday night segment of ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer.

The Flame Challenge contest is open through April 2, with winners to be announced in June. Entries can be in writing, video or graphics, playful or serious, as long as they are accurate and connect with the young judges.

For more information and entry forms, or if your school would like to participate in the judging, please visit

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