M*A*S*H star to give lecture, workshop at MSU


Staff Writer

A television legend will speak at Mississippi State University next week.

Actor Alan Alda, best known for his role in the comedy/drama series M*A*S*H from 1972 to 1983, will speak at MSU Monday. The free lecture is scheduled for 6 p.m., and will be located in the Bettersworth Auditorium in Lee Hall. Despite being free, the lecture is a ticketed event. Tickets can be acquired from the Center for Student Activities in the Colvard Student Union, or by calling 662-325-2930.

“Alan Alda is known to most Americans for his iconic role in M*A*S*H as Dr. Hawkeye Pierce,” said MSU Chief Communications Officer Sid Salter. “However, that series has been off for quite some time, but Alan Alda has continued to live a very robust and productive life.”

Alda’s lecture is titled “Getting Beyond a Blind Date With Science,” and is part of Alda’s longtime focus on communicating science. In addition to the lecture, 65 MSU faculty, researchers and graduate students will attend an Alda-Kavli workshop with faculty members from the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science located at Stony Brook University located on Long Island, New York. Funding from the California- based Kavli Foundation will support both foundations’ missions to help foster understanding of scientific research.

“Through Stony Brook, Mr. Alda has been able to put together an outstanding team of scholars, who teach existing researchers, scientists, faculty members, graduate students, everyone involved in the teaching and study of science how to communicate science more effectively, not just to the general public, but to colleagues, to students, to peers, to grant-giving organizations.”

Salter also acknowledged the Jackson-based Robert M. Hearin Foundation for its role in funding the workshop.

Salter said those participating in the sessions would do so for two or three days depending on their roles with the university. He also said Alda himself would be involved in some of the sessions.

“It will be as if we were able to send our 65 members to a conference totally dedicated to improving their skills in communicating science, but we’ll have it here on our campus, and it will be an extraordinary learning opportunity for the people participating,” Salter said.

In addition to Alda’s lecture and workshop, MSU will also host acclaimed author John Grisham the same week. Grisham, an MSU alumnus, will address the university’s new students at its fall convocation Tuesday evening.

“We’re looking forward to seeing him, and letting a new generation of Mississippi State students enjoy hearing his unique speaking style,” Salter said.