Science is Personal

QESSTion

This excerpt from Alan Alda’s workshops on Improvisation for Scientists shows how scientists can be more effective communicators when they allow themselves to speak from a personal motivation.

Alda’s princpal criticism of scientists is that they fail to make a connection to the audience.  He calls this connection empathy, which describes the capacity of the scientist to see the presentation from the perspective of the audience.

In Alda’s view, practicing improvisational theater exercises helps scientists make a strong connection to their partners that is directly transferable to making a connection with the audience.

Alda’s critique is consistent with my view that scientists are typically so preoccupied with answering the question What? that they fail to answer the question Why?

His advice to the student in the first video is to reveal her motivation for her science on a personal level so that the audience can relate. After all, if…

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