Alan Alda is one of the bossest figures in pop culture– and not just for the recent scene in The Blacklist where he got blown to pieces inside of an indestructible glass box. Alda has taken the publicity he earned for his roles in M*A*S*H and The West Wing and used it to further one of the most noble causes out there: science.
In 1990, Alda hosted Scientific American Frontiers, a program on PBS that educated the public on exciting new discoveries in health, technology and science.
In 2009, Alda helped found the Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University. I’d like to think that one of the proudest moments in my mom’s life was when her middle-school class was selected to judge the Center’s Flame Challenge of 2012— a contest where scientists enter with explanations of complex topics geared toward 11-year-olds– and she met Alan Alda.
And I am not ashamed to admit that the 100-year-old woman inside of me wants to marry him.
On Thursday, February 19 at 7 PM in Stony Brook University’s SAC auditorium, Alda will be giving a talk about why it is so important for scientists to not only communicate but engage with the public. At the very least this will be an interesting talk for anyone interested or even just vaguely curious about science. At the most it will be spectacularly life changing and there will be metaphorical fireworks.