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Alan Alda has earned international recognition as an actor, writer and director in films, plays and on television, such as in the classic series, MASH. But it is his passion for science that brings Alda to Australia in 2016.
Alan will be attending the inaugural World Science Festival Brisbane, where his reading for the stage, Dear Albert, will be performed for the first time in Australia. He is a founding board member of the World Science Festival, based in New York, and has participated in every Festival since its launch in 2008.
For over 20 years Alan has worked to help broaden the public’s understanding of science. He hosted the award winning series Scientific American Frontiers on PBS for eleven years, interviewing leading scientists from around the world. In January 2010, he hosted the PBS series The Human Spark, in which he interviewed dozens of scientists, searching for answers to the question: What is it that makes us human? In 2013 he hosted the mini-series Brains on Trial on PBS, exploring the effect of contemporary brain science on the U.S. justice system. On Broadway he has appeared as the physicist Richard Feynman in the play QED.
He helped found the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University where he is a Visiting Professor, working with other faculty to develop innovative programs that enable scientists to communicate more effectively with the public. He originated The Flame Challenge, a yearly international competition for scientists in which they compete to explain complex scientific concepts so that 11-year-olds can understand them.
Since 2008, he has worked with co-founders Brian Greene and Tracy Day in presenting the annual World Science Festival in New York City, attended since its inception by over a million people. He is the author of a play entitled “Radiance – the Passion of Marie Curie,” which had its world premiere at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles in November 2011.
His awards for communicating science include:
1998 From the Council of Scientific Society Presidents, The Sagan Award, for increasing the public appreciation of science
2006 National Science Board’s Public Service Award
2010 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award for PBS series, The Human Spark
2013 Scientific American Lifetime Achievement Award
2013 American Chemical Society (ACS) Award for Public Service
2014 American Chemical Society (ACS) James T. Grady-James H. Stack Award for Interpreting Chemistry for the Public