Alan Alda: Helping Scientists Talk to the Rest of Us

Alan Alda has been on a decades-long journey to discover new ways to help people communicate and relate to one another more effectively.

About If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?

Alan Alda has been on a decades-long journey to discover new ways to help people communicate and relate to one another more effectively. If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face? is the warm, witty, and informative chronicle of how Alda found inspiration in everything from cutting-edge science to classic acting methods. His search began when he was host of PBS’s Scientific American Frontiers, where he interviewed thousands of scientists and developed a knack for helping them communicate complex ideas in ways a wide audience could understand—and Alda wondered if those techniques held a clue to better communication for the rest of us.

Alan Alda has done us all a favor. Doctors, lawyers and most academics have difficulty talking to the public.

We’ve all experienced medical miscommunications of one sort or another.

“Imagine your aorta is a piece of salami,” a surgeon said to a patient.

“But I’m a vegetarian,” the patient responded.

The surgeon ignoring the response from the patient proceeded to describe ways to slice salami.

It’s a true story.

Alan Alda encourages scientists to learn to talk to us. And if we are to reframe the political conversations presently taking place then scientists must start talking and writing in ways that we can understand.

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