Alan Alda and Science Communication

In the USA actor Alan Alda (star of M*A*S*H) is one of the great cheerleaders for science, appearing regularly on TV. He may well have something like the status that David Attenborough enjoys on this side of the Atlantic.

Alan Alda @ USC

I think he does good work but see what you make of this recent interview. This struck me as relevant to our course:

“scientists often don’t speak to the rest of us the way they would if we were standing there full of curiosity. They sometimes spray information at us without making that contact that I think is crucial. If a scientist doesn’t have someone next to them, drawing them out, they can easily go into lecture mode. There can be a lot of insider’s jargon.”

But his line “Every scientist’s life is a heroic story” made me want to throw up a little… was that wrong?


About scurry1963

Scientist and science blogger. Find me on Twitter at @Stephen_Curry or read my blog at
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