Last night was this opening day of the Summer Institute at Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University. We had dinner at the president’s home and today we got a chance to meet MASH and West Wing actor Alan Alda who energized the audience with his talk about communicating science to the public. He suggests that when presenting science you should act like the public is on a blind date with science. You should communicate science in a way that everyone get’s it. It is about your choice of words and also about speaking in your own voice. It’s more about clarity than about trying to sound smart.
It was worth it getting up at 8:00 am to participate in today’s activities. I had fun participating in all of the improvisation exercises. I hope my dissertation students will appreciate them the same way that I did this morning. The exercises included more than the “elevator pitch” exercise that we practice in the dissertation house.