Like many I was saddened to hear that Alan Alda has Parkinson’s disease. I was also saddened that he felt it was necessary to discuss an issue that many may keep private because as he said ‘I thought, it’s probably only a matter of time before somebody does a story about this from a sad point of view, but that’s not where I am.’ In times of illness and passing we should consider the theme of his message and concentrate on the positives in life.
Most will know him for his acting in M.A.S.H. as a brilliant, trouble making doctor although his role in West Wing as a brilliant potential President is well worth watching. His real brilliance is however as a story teller and his contributions to science in this role at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science.
There are many that can tell a story well but few tell stories of importance so well. Science is better off because of him as there is a need for clear communication in a world of fake news and fake science – climate change deniers and anti-vaccination falsehoods. Keep telling the world about science as I and many others will keep listening.