Department of Medicine

The E. Garner King Memorial Lectures

The 24th Annual E. Garner King Memorial Lecture

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Shaw Conference Centre, Edmonton, Alberta

Doors:  5:00 PM
Dinner: 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Alan Alda Talk:  7:30 PM - 8:30 PM
VIP Reception: 8:30 PM

Alan Alda
Actor, Writer, Director, Science Advocate
Emmy and Golden Globe award Winner

"Getting Beyond a Blind Date with Science"

It was in autumn of 2003 that Alan Alda's life changed forever. While filming for Scientific American Frontier, Alda felt an intense pain in his abdomen. It was his appendix, and it needed to be removed immediately. In a local Chilean ER, a doctor saved his life just in the nick of time. 

A lifelong lover of science, Alda would like everyday people and science to shake hands. Just as he knew to get to a doctor, because of what his body was telling him, Alda believes that people should have an easier time understanding and relating to science. So aside from hosting PBS specials for over two decades, Alda has helped found the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, where scientists learn the communicative skills to help the world understand science better without all the jargon. 

Whether we like it or not, science affects us all, so allow Alda to help wipe the sweat from your brow, calm your nerves, and get beyond the blind date with science.


Actor, writer, science advocate, and director are just a few of Alan Alda’s many job titles. Throughout his 40-year career, he has won seven Emmys, six Golden Globes, and three DGA awards for directing. When not garnering accolades for his roles in front of and behind the camera, Alda spent 11 years hosting Scientific American Frontiers on PBS. 

One of TV Guide’s 50 Greatest Television Stars of All Time, Alda is best known for portraying Hawkeye Pierce on M*A*S*H, which earned him five Emmys for acting, writing, and directing, the only actor in history to win in each category for a single series. 125 million people tuned in to say goodbye, making the show’s finale the most watched single TV episode in US history. 

He wrote, directed, and starred in several films throughout the 80s and 90s. He was nominated for a British Academy Award for Crimes and Misdemeanors and received an Oscar nomination for his performance in Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator. Alda is scheduled to appear next in Nicholas Sparks's The Longest Ride and Steven Spielberg's 2015 Cold War spy thriller. In November 2014 he returned to Broadway, starring opposite Candace Bergen in Love Letters

From 1993 to 2005, Alda hosted PBS’s Scientific American Frontiers, putting the actor up close with cutting edge advancements in chemistry, technology, biology, and physics. He hosted the 2010 PBS mini-series The Human Spark and wrote Radiance: The Passion of Marie Curie, a play about the personal life of the great scientist who discovered radium. He teamed up with PBS again in 2013 for Brains on Trial, a neurological look at brains in the court room. 

A recipient of the National Science Board’s Public Service Award, Alda is a visiting professor at and founding member of Stony Brook University’s Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, where he helps develop innovative programs on how scientists communicate with the public. He is also on the Board of Directors of the World Science Festival. 

Alda published his New York Times bestselling memoir, Never Have Your Dog Stuffed - And Other Things I've Learned, in 2005. His second book, 2007’s Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself, became a New York Times bestseller, as well. His 33 Emmy nominations include recent performances for NBC’s 30 Rock, The West Wing (his 6th win), and ER.