Alan Alda

FAN Editor

That notion of straight-talking scientists became a mission. Alda approached New York’s Stony Brook University to let him teach their science students to talk, and the idea caught on. Now, at Stony Brook’s Center for Communicating Science, Alda trains the best and the brightest to talk to anyone clearly. He uses the tenets of improv comedy in his courses.

“It makes you present, It makes you alive,” he explained to Tracy Smith. “You’re here and now, you’re talking to another actor. You’re not pretending to talk to the actor, you’re really talking to the actor. That changes everything about you. And it changes the other person, too, because if you’re working with a salami, you’re not going to react to that person.”

“Did you work with a few salamis?” Smith asked.

“Sometimes, yes!”

By senior editor David Morgan

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