Any scientists here done interviews on shows? What's it like?

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In summary: IT and medical to perform remote emergency surgeries. Discussed speed of light lag inherent in rf communications. Alda has a calm demeanor; veteran considering limitations and strength of new technology. Pleasant, professional, relaxed.In summary, the conversation was about the experience of being interviewed for a show and how to handle unexpected questions. The speakers also discussed Alan Alda's interest in science and technology, as well as his role as a science communicator. They also talked about their lunch conversations and memories of working together at the AI labs in Menlo Park.
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random_soldier
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Or maybe even talked to someone who doesn't do science but has an interest in the knowledge? How was your experience?
 
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While, I've never done any shows, I imagine someone can ask a question that you aren't prepared for and consequently folks will see you visibly struggle to get out a compact and cogent answer.

I've seen this a lot when I ask a physics question to one of my colleagues. He wants to answer precisely but then visibly hesitates as he tries to find the right words to express the answer.

If you're being interviewed for a show, a good strategy would be to limit audience questions to zero and to agree with the interviewer the questions that will be asked so you can be prepared.

Unfortunately, there are some interviewers who will inject questions they didn't give you initially to make the interview more dynamic so you have to be prepared for the unknown.

The maxim is the one asking the questions always seems smarter than the one answering them so maybe you could ask the interviewer a few to make it equally interesting.

Also I suspect, if you've taught classes in the subject then you will be more adept at answering in which case you'll have to factor in the level the audience is at.

Another friend who was a newly minted PhD in Biology was interviewed and her answer to a few questions were definitely over the audience level unless they happened to be grad students.
 
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If anecdotes with famous actor interested in Science and Technology, also son of a famous actor, suffice; then:

While working on projects with the AI labs, I frequently ate lunch at benches set along a courtyard among old low buildings along Ravenswood in Menlo Park, CA. I learned to tune a maser at a youth science fair held nearby at Stanford Research Institute (SRI) International.

I found cables from each telecomm era coiled and piled in dexeon conduits. "Someday we'll make a proper job.", I mentally swear, "Remove old coils of cable..."; fastening neat multi-user Category 5 twisted pairs to connect STAR and Vision labs on level one to all SRI.

While developing several projects, Alan Alda made a charming and informative lunch companion. He understood SRI, his role as teacher and entertainer. As for celebrity I missed the son's golden years as a TV surgeon, though I have read the novels. We discussed favorite films that Robert Alda made and films his father particularly liked.

We discussed tele-surgery and robotic surgery in the context of a surgeon leading a team including IT and medical to perform remote emergency surgeries. Discussed speed of light lag inherent in rf communications. Alda has a calm demeanor; veteran considering limitations and strength of new technology. Pleasant, professional, relaxed.
 
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Klystron said:
While developing several projects, Alan Alda made a charming and informative lunch companion. He understood SRI, his role as teacher and entertainer.
I like Alda as an actor, and I think his character and many others in the MASH tv series were great. I really liked MASH. I also remember understanding that he has a great interest in science from seeing him appear in some science show either as an interviewer or being interviewed. Regretfully I don't remember which show it was.
 
  • #5
Alda was the host Scientific American Frontiers on PBS for its entire run 1993 to 2005.

He also played Feynman in the play QED which may have increased his visibility to directors as a host in science shows.
 
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He also runs the Alan Alda https://www.aldacenter.org/news/announcements/flame-challenge-launch-2018 and has produced the Flame Challenge contest.
 
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  • #7
Klystron said:
If anecdotes with famous actor interested in Science and Technology, also son of a famous actor, suffice; then:

While working on projects with the AI labs, I frequently ate lunch at benches set along a courtyard among old low buildings along Ravenswood in Menlo Park, CA. I learned to tune a maser at a youth science fair held nearby at Stanford Research Institute (SRI) International.

I found cables from each telecomm era coiled and piled in dexeon conduits. "Someday we'll make a proper job.", I mentally swear, "Remove old coils of cable..."; fastening neat multi-user Category 5 twisted pairs to connect STAR and Vision labs on level one to all SRI.

While developing several projects, Alan Alda made a charming and informative lunch companion. He understood SRI, his role as teacher and entertainer. As for celebrity I missed the son's golden years as a TV surgeon, though I have read the novels. We discussed favorite films that Robert Alda made and films his father particularly liked.

We discussed tele-surgery and robotic surgery in the context of a surgeon leading a team including IT and medical to perform remote emergency surgeries. Discussed speed of light lag inherent in rf communications. Alda has a calm demeanor; veteran considering limitations and strength of new technology. Pleasant, professional, relaxed.

It sounds more like discussions between two friends who meet each other at lunch.
 
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  • #8
Klystron said:
We discussed favorite films that Robert Alda made and ...
Thanks, I watched MASH but never knew anything about Alan Alda's father.
 
  • #9
Alda best to Robert and Alan!
 
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  • #10
Klystron said:
If anecdotes with famous actor interested in Science and Technology, also son of a famous actor, suffice; then:

While working on projects with the AI labs, I frequently ate lunch at benches set along a courtyard among old low buildings along Ravenswood in Menlo Park, CA. I learned to tune a maser at a youth science fair held nearby at Stanford Research Institute (SRI) International.

I found cables from each telecomm era coiled and piled in dexeon conduits. "Someday we'll make a proper job.", I mentally swear, "Remove old coils of cable..."; fastening neat multi-user Category 5 twisted pairs to connect STAR and Vision labs on level one to all SRI.

While developing several projects, Alan Alda made a charming and informative lunch companion. He understood SRI, his role as teacher and entertainer. As for celebrity I missed the son's golden years as a TV surgeon, though I have read the novels. We discussed favorite films that Robert Alda made and films his father particularly liked.

We discussed tele-surgery and robotic surgery in the context of a surgeon leading a team including IT and medical to perform remote emergency surgeries. Discussed speed of light lag inherent in rf communications. Alda has a calm demeanor; veteran considering limitations and strength of new technology. Pleasant, professional, relaxed.

@Klystron , I'm curious whether when you met Alan Alda for lunch was during his tenure as host of Scientific American Frontiers on PBS (1993-2005). Or was this some time before or after this period.

I loved that show while it was on PBS, and would love to see a revival if at all possible.
 
  • #11
StatGuy2000 said:
@Klystron , I'm curious whether when you met Alan Alda for lunch was during his tenure as host of Scientific American Frontiers on PBS (1993-2005). Or was this some time before or after this period.

I loved that show while it was on PBS, and would love to see a revival if at all possible.
If memory serves we were both at SRI International around 1994-1997 time frame. Alda engaged in a number of projects on campus at different laboratories and was both interviewed and conducted interviews of other scientists. The experimental setup for filming remote/robotic surgery was quite spectacular, with actual blood, flesh and bandages, though I do not know if they used human cadavers, along with medical surgical simulations.

My younger sister was a big fan of Robert Alda senior and black&white films of that era, particularly musicals, giving me some knowledge of the genre. Looking back on our few conversations, Alda was probably relieved that I had not seen M.A.S.H. TV show and did not see him in character as wise-cracking New England surgeon Hawkeye Pierce but as a professional deeply interested in science and technology.
 
  • #12
Klystron said:
Alda was probably relieved that I had not seen M.A.S.H. TV show and did not see him in character
in the early 1980s Gary Burgoff was spotted sitting in on the drums at various backwoods taverns in Connecticut. the word was, don't make a fuss and whatever you do don't shout "hey Radar..." or he'll never come back.
 
  • #13
gmax137 said:
in the early 1980s Gary Burgoff was spotted sitting in on the drums at various backwoods taverns in Connecticut. the word was, don't make a fuss and whatever you do don't shout "hey Radar..." or he'll never come back.
Whatever you do, don't shout his name backwards! EDIT: Anyone know Gary died 2 days ago, 10/4/2019?
 
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  • #14
WWGD said:
Whatever you do, don't shout his name backwards! EDIT: Anyone know Gary died 2 days ago, 10/4/2019?
Seriously? Not finding this using google.
 
  • #15
Averagesupernova said:
Seriously? Not finding this using google.
I guess you don't know of my reputation for horrible jokes and you thought I was saying something clever or serious; just referring to 'radar' being a palindrome.Edit:If you refer to his death, I read it in his Wikipedia page .
Edit2. His Wiki page was edited and it may have been a hoax. I don't know if I should delete.
 
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  • #16
WWGD said:
I guess you don't know of my reputation for horrible jokes and you thought I was saying something clever or serious; just referring to 'radar' being a palindrome.Edit:If you refer to his death, I read it in his Wikipedia page .
Edit2. His Wiki page was edited and it may have been a hoax. I don't know if I should delete.
I got the joke. Radar vs. radaR. I've never seen a time where you couldn't google someone as well known as Gary Burghoff after their legitimate death and find it to be so. In short, he's likely not dead.
 
  • #17
Averagesupernova said:
I got the joke. Radar vs. radaR. I've never seen a time where you couldn't google someone as well known as Gary Burghoff after their legitimate death and find it to be so. In short, he's likely not dead.
Yes, please see my edit. It was likely a hoax.
 

Related to Any scientists here done interviews on shows? What's it like?

1. What types of shows do scientists typically do interviews on?

Scientists can do interviews on a variety of shows, including news programs, talk shows, podcasts, and documentaries. It really depends on the subject of the interview and the target audience for the show.

2. How do scientists prepare for interviews on shows?

Preparing for an interview on a show typically involves researching the show and its audience, as well as reviewing the topic or research being discussed. Scientists may also practice answering potential questions and work on communicating their ideas in a clear and concise manner.

3. Are scientists nervous when being interviewed on shows?

Some scientists may experience nerves or anxiety before and during an interview on a show, just like anyone else would. However, many scientists are passionate about their work and enjoy sharing their knowledge with the public, which can help alleviate any nerves.

4. How do scientists handle difficult or controversial questions during interviews on shows?

Handling difficult or controversial questions during an interview on a show can be challenging, but it is important for scientists to remain calm and professional. They may choose to reframe the question, provide context, or redirect the conversation back to the main topic. It is also important for scientists to be honest and transparent in their responses.

5. What is the biggest challenge for scientists during interviews on shows?

The biggest challenge for scientists during interviews on shows is often communicating complex scientific concepts to a general audience in an engaging and understandable way. This requires scientists to be well-versed in their research, as well as skilled in public speaking and storytelling.

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