Alda will deliver the second Ken and Blaire Mossman Distinguished Lecture at 6:30 p.m. in the Cox Auditorium of the Alumni Memorial Building. Alda will address students, faculty, and staff during the lecture, which is free and open to the public. Free parking is available in the G-10 Parking Garage.
Alda’s appearance at UT occurs in conjunction with a visit to Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which is hosting Alda and the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science for workshops at the lab.
Through his talk, titled “Getting Beyond a Blind Date with Science,” Alda will share his passion for science communication. He will explain why it is crucial for scientists to tell their stories effectively to the public and how they can learn to do it better.
The lecture series—which aims to share the power and wonder of science with the campus and greater community—was established through an estate gift from the late Ken and Blaire Mossman, who were UT alumni.
Alda is best known for his 58-year career in entertainment and his role as Captain Hawkeye Pierce in the TV series M*A*S*H. An actor, writer, and director with six Emmy Awards and six Golden Globes, he will draw on his personal experiences to explain the importance of making science accessible to the public. For 14 years, he served as host of Scientific American Frontiers, a television show that explored cutting-edge advances in science and technology.
In 2009, he founded the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, based in the School of Journalism at Stony Brook University in Long Island, New York. The center works to enhance understanding of science by helping train the next generation of scientists and professionals to tell their stories more effectively with the public, officials, and the media. Alda also serves as a visiting professor in Stony Brook’s School of Journalism.
Alda’s lecture marks the second year for the Mossman series. Bill Nye delivered the inaugural lecture in 2015. The Mossmans’ gifts also endow a scholarship in Romance languages and support student efforts in intercultural and multicultural initiatives. UT’s new science and laboratory building, which is under construction at Cumberland Avenue and Thirteenth Street and will open in 2017, is named in the couple’s honor.
Lola Alapo (865-974-3993, firstname.lastname@example.org)