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2018 All-Scientists’ Meeting
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Thursday, October 4 • 8:30am - 5:00pm
Alda Center: Science Communication Essentials FULL

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Science Communication Essentials. During the one-day workshop, Alda Center instructors will guide participants through improvisation exercises to help them become more aware of connecting and engaging with various audiences. Participants will notice a transformation in the way they approach communication, relating to others in a more empathic way. This is the basis for good communication, and the fundamental approach for the Alda Method™.

Background: In his many years hosting the Scientific American Frontiers television program, Alan Alda interviewed hundreds of scientists. He found them to be personable and engaging in direct conversation, but noticed that they often had trouble connecting with an abstract "audience." He thought that some of the tools that actors use to learn how to connect (notably, improvisation training) might be useful for scientists.  In 2009, Stonybrook University (along with Stony Brook School of Journalism, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory) partnered with Alda to begin building a program that could improve science communication on a large scale.  

The Alda Center for Communicating Science and the Alda Center for Communications Training now offer a wide variety of workshops, from one-day introductions to  week-long bootcamps. Their programs are among the most effective and enjoyable communications trainings for scientists.

Workshop Instructors:
James Rea (jrea@expertsclearly.com)
James Rea is a communications coach and consultant who specializes in helping scientists, engineers, and other technical experts reach their key audiences with clear, engaging stories.  James started on this path nearly 20 years ago, when he took on a communications role with the U.S. EPA’s Design for the Environment Program. In 1998 James left the EPA to bring stories of science and sustainability to a wider audience as an independent reporter and producer for National Public Radio. His work aired on NPR affiliate stations around the country, most often reaching listeners via the airwaves of WAMU 88.5 FM in Washington, DC.  In 2001, James began his own communications consulting practice, putting his skills to work for a variety of clients including the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the American Chemical Society’s Green Chemistry Institute, the Center for Green Chemistry & Green Engineering at Yale, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. James continues this work now as an instructor for Alda Center workshops, driven by his passion for helping scientists, engineers and other technical experts share their inspiring and vitally important work with the world.

David Calvitto (dcalvitto@gmail.com)
David Calvitto lives in Manhattan and has been an improvisation instructor for the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science since March 2016. He taught acting and improvisation for 20 years throughout New York and New Jersey, at Oberlin College in Ohio and for the Cape Cod Theatre Project in Woods Hole before joining the Alda Center. As an actor, he’s performed in London’s West End, throughout the United Kindom and internationally in Australia, Barbados, Canada, Germany, Holland, Ireland and New Zealand since 2004. He’s directed plays in New York, London, Adelaide and Edinburgh. From 1982 to 1994, David was an ESL teacher, teacher trainer and then administrator in the English school component of a large immigrant resettlement organization called The New York Association for New Americans (NYANA).

Lead Organizer
avatar for David Calvitto

David Calvitto

Alda Communications Training
David Calvitto lives in Manhattan and has been an improvisation instructor for the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science since March 2016. He taught acting and improvisation for 20 years throughout New York and New Jersey, at Oberlin College in Ohio and for the Cape Cod Theatre... Read More →
avatar for James Rea

James Rea

Alda Communications Training
James Rea is a communications coach and consultant who specializes in helping scientists, engineers, and other technical experts reach their key audiences with clear, engaging stories. James started on this path nearly 20 years ago, when he took on a communications role with the U.S... Read More →

Thursday October 4, 2018 8:30am - 5:00pm
04. Curlew Meeting Room