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EP 185: The Great Communicator Alan Alda Returns!

As an award-winning actor, director, writer, and science communicator, Alan Alda has become something of an expert in empathy, relating to others, and facilitating greater communication and understanding. Today he returns to the podcast to share some of what he's learned. He recalls how an unfortunate experience with his dentist set him on a path to teaching better communication between doctors and their patients, and how he became a much better interviewer on Scientific American Frontiers when he stopped trying to be a know-it-all and just indulged his own curiosity. He talks about theory of mind, how he experimented in his daily life to develop greater empathy for others, how to heal the political divide one conversation at a time, and whether his wife of 60 years thinks he's really a great communicator.

Order Alan Alda's new book If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?: My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating on Amazon or download the audiobook for free with a special trial offer just for our listeners at Visit his website at and support The Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Follow Alan Alda on Twitter at @AlanAlda.

Today's episode is sponsored by Aspiration, Revisionist History,, and Couchbase. If your fed up with big banks and poor interest rates, go to Malcomb Gladwell's podcast Revisionist History returns for a new season. Subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts. Find out why US Markerboard is the premium supplier of whiteboards and visual display products in North America. Go to and use the promo code KICK for 10% off. The Couchbase Data Platform is built on the most powerful No SQL technology to give your web, mobile, and internet-of-things apps unparalleled agility, manageability, and performance at any scale. You can learn more at

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