Alan Alda Came to My Town
The University of Tennessee has recently started hosting a series of lectures in the field of communicating science - last year, the guest speaker was Bill Nye the Science Guy, but this year's guest was none other than Alan Alda.
The lecture was open to the public, and free, so I attended.
It was a rather interesting and engaging lecture too, which was pretty much what he was talking about: how to make scientific explanations engaging for people in a way that doesn't dumb down what they're talking about, but adding an emotive level to it so that people can comprehend what's being told to them. He explained this is why he's been holding so many improv workshops in recent years - not to help people hone comedic skills, or to be quick on their feet, but be able to think outside the box when explaining something to somebody. He also shared a few anecdotes from his book as well.
And sorry folks, he didn't speak of M*A*S*H hardly at all, but that's not why he was there.
I wasn't sure if maybe there would be a meet-and-greet at some point before or after the lecture, but I brought my M*A*S*H plague, as well as my copy of NEVER HAVE YOUR DOG STUFFED for him to sign, but there wasn't an opportunity for that. There was, however, a Q&A session after the lecture that he ran out of time for, that I wish now I participated in, because I thought of something to ask him while others waited in line.
It was an interesting and unique experience to say the least. The house was packed.