BURLINGTON, Vt. –
Monday, Alan Alda an actor who played roles in M*A*S*H and the West Wing was at the University of Vermont. But he wasn’t talking about the silver screen instead how to help the public get beyond what he calls a “blind date” with science.
He says he wants to make sure scientists can explain their research clearly to anyone.
“The students who are here will be possibly in the forefront of those scientists who are able to communicate about their work effectively,” said Alda.
It’s a joint effort with Alda’s center at Stony Brook University in New York. One he hopes it will become part of the science curriculum across the country.
“It’s an ambitious idea, I realize that. But I hope what will happen is that when you study science, you take it for granted that you’re going to be studying communication at the same time,” said Alda.
He says, it’s all about relating to people and that involves improvisation. Adapted theater exercises will teach students how to read their listeners and adjust their presentations to suit their audience.
“It’s not only important what’s in your head when you’re communicating, what’s important is, are they getting it? Otherwise, it’s the tree falling in the forest,” said Alda.