Distilling Your Message: A Workshop with Alan Alda

Earlier this month, the Mass General Research Institute organized a day-long workshop hosted by the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. Participating Mass General researchers learned how to succinctly and vividly speak about their work in terms lay persons can understand. Improvisation exercises also helped participants hone their ability to naturally connect with different audiences.

This workshop is one of several programs and initiatives we have launched since 2016 to help our researchers better communicate their science to the general public. In the fall of 2016, we presented “The Art of Talking Science,” a fun American Idol-style science event where eight researchers had the chance to deliver a four-minute summary of their research and receive feedback from a panel of “celebrity” judges, including nationally known science writer Carl Zimmer. This event was part of the programming for HUBweek, a citywide festival celebrating innovation.

You can learn more about our other science communication programs here.


  1. […] The Mass General Research Institute believes in the important role communication plays in a researcher’s ability to connect with a wide audience. As part of our commitment to help our researchers better communicate their science, we have previously worked with the Alan Alda Center For Communicating Science to teach Mass General researchers how to distill their message. […]


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