Alan Alda speaking in Toms River

In this Friday, April 26, 2013 photo, actor Alan Alda speaks during an interview at Stony Brook University, on New York’s Long Island. The film and television star has been trying to encourage scientists of all disciplines to ditch the jargon and speak in plain English. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Alan Alda will appear at the Grunin Center for the Arts, Ocean County College in Toms River, on Tuesday, September 12 at 7:00 p.m., when the famed funnyman will tell a serious story about understanding one another.

Tickets are currently sold out for the lecture but anyone interested may call the Grunin Center Box Office at 732-255-0500 to be added to the wait list.

This is a rare opportunity to learn from author and award-winning actor, writer, and director who founded the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science traces his personal quest to understand how to relate and communicate better, from practicing empathy and using improv games to storytelling and developing better intuitive skills.

Alda, an actor and writer known widely for his role in the hit TV series M*A*S*H has redefined himself in the past two decades as a crusader for science communication.

For 11 years Alda hosted Scientific American Frontiers, a PBS series in which he interviewed hundreds of scientists about the breakthroughs in science, engineering and medicine.

Alda realized that the conversational approach of these interviews lead to a surprisingly spontaneous and vivid presentation of their work.

He wondered if scientists could be taught to communicate more if they learned to pay dynamic attention to their audience, connecting to them in a personal way.

Using improvisational techniques he had learned in 50 years of acting on stage and on-screen, he devised what has come to be called The Alda Method. Since 2009, thousands of scientists and doctors have participated in Alda Method workshops.

Alda’s new book If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look On My Face? provides a guide to communicate effectively with your doctors and health care professionals, friends, family, co-workers and others using innovative ways to nurture relationships and build deeper trust, empathy & understanding.

“People are dying because we can’t communicate in ways that allow us to understand one another,” he writes. “It sounds like an exaggeration, but I don’t think it is. When patients can’t relate to their doctors and don’t follow their orders, when engineers can’t convince a town that the dam could break, when a parent can’t win the trust of a child to warn her off a lethal drug. They can all be headed for a serious ending.”

The Alan Alda Center, at Stony Brook University, has received widespread recognition for its training, which provides students with skills to communicate their work effectively to the public, public officials, the media, and others outside of their discipline. SUNY will take the program to scale by offering additional training and workshops, and expanding access to programming through a New York City-based at the SUNY Global Center.

“Alan Alda and his team at Stony Brook University’s Center for Communicating Science have developed innovative techniques and effective practices for explaining even the most complex matters of science, and we look forward to bringing their highly successful program to more SUNY students,” said Chancellor Zimpher.


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