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CLEAR+VIVID™ with Alan Alda

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Chesilhurst , NJ








W. Kamau Bell on How He Communicates with Racists

W. Kamau Bell, the host of CNN's "United Shades of America,” describes his show as giving people a “microphone” and “public square to tell their version of the story.” Putting it plainly, he's said his greatest gift as a communicator is in knowing, “... how to shut the f*ck up and let people talk.” Kamau is a gifted stand up comedian who delivers his comedy through a socio-political lens. In this episode of Clear+Vivid, Alan Alda asks W. Kamau Bell about his approach to comedy and how it's...


How the Alda Center Teaches Empathy in Science, and Medicine (Part 3)

The most important time in your life can be those few minutes when you're in the doctors office - this is a critical time for you to tell your story and for your doctor to listen. 80% of correct diagnoses are made when doctors get the whole history from their patients. And the more empathic the communication, the better the diagnosis. In this last episode of our 3-part series, we speak with Dr. Susmita Pati and Dr. Laura Lindenfeld at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony...


Dr. Karl VanDevender: Empathy and the Doctor-Patient Relationship (Part 2)

Dr. Karl VanDevender is one of the most empathic doctors you'll ever meet. In fact, he's one of the most empathic people that Alan Alda has ever met! Dr. VanDevender has been practicing medicine for forty years and in that time he has learned some interesting ways to connect with his patients, resulting in surprisingly positive results. Dr. VanDevender has a lot to teach us about the doctor-patient relationship, and how it can lead to better health. Clear+Vivid with Alan Alda is devoting a...


Dr. Helen Riess on Empathy and the Science of Emotion (Part 1 of 3)

Relating and communicating in the doctor’s office can sometimes be a matter of life or death. Clear+Vivid with Alan Alda is devoting a special series of three shows to doctor-patient relations and how better understanding can be achieved through empathy and deeper listening. First up is Dr. Helen Riess whose research has shown that not only is empathy important to the doctor-patient relationship, but that, when it’s lacking, empathy can be taught. Join us for this episode with Dr. Riess,...


Marc Maron on What Podcasting Has Taught Him About Relating

Marc Maron is a legend in both the stand-up community and also as a podcaster. His WTF Podcast broke new ground in the interview genre when he welcomed President Obama onto his show and helped to truly define the independent podcast movement. But Marc’s rise to the top has been an arduous personal journey. As a comedian and performer he’s dealt with anxiety and other issues that have haunted him over the years. He talks with Alan Alda about his personal life and how podcasting helped him to...


Neil deGrasse Tyson on Communicating Science So We Actually Get It

The universe has wonders that can stun us — if only someone could be clear and vivid in explaining them to us. Neil deGrasse Tyson does just that, which has put him among the most recognized science communicators of the 21st Century. He’s not only an astrophysicist, an author, and the head of the world-renowned Hayden Planetarium, he’s also funny. In this episode Alan and Neil explore some surprising techniques for making hard stuff clear, including how a particular football play can explain...


Michael J. Fox: How to Keep Going When Life Gives You Speed Bumps

Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with young on-set Parkinson's Disease in 1991. He threw himself into his work and fell into moments of depression and alcohol abuse. But, in 1998, when he went public with his story, he changed the way the world looked at Parkinson's Disease and has now raised nearly a billion dollars in research through the Michael J. Fox Foundation, which he founded. And he inspired many other people with the disease to not let it stop them -- including Alan Alda. Alan was...


Behind the Scenes Table Talk with Alan Alda and the Production Team

Go behind the scenes with the Clear+Vivid team! Alan Alda sits down with his friend and long time producer, Graham Chedd, to talk about podcasting, their years together on Scientific American Frontiers, and their enduring friendship. Alan and Graham are joined by Associate Producer, Sarah Chase, who is also the voice of the ads and helps Alan run his company, Alda Communication Training (ACT). Our "Tech Guru," Allison Coston also joins in and tells us about her 6 years in the U.S. Navy. The...


Katie Couric and Sheryl Sandberg Take Over the Pod

While Alan Alda is on vacation, he's invited his friend Katie Couric to take over the pod with some of her favorite episodes! Alan's producers interviewed Katie about this episode and Katie talks about the shared experience that she and Sheryl Sandberg have in common. After her husband died suddenly from a cardiac arrhythmia, Facebook's COO Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In) thought she would never experience true joy again. Sheryl speaks about her book, Option B, that delves into how she proved...


Katie Couric and Bryan Stevenson Take Over the Pod

Alan is on vacation (literally). So, he asked his friend Katie Couric if she'd lend him a couple of episodes of her podcast. Alan sent in his producers to interview Katie about her podcast. In this episode Katie and her co-host Brian Goldsmith welcome Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative. After graduating from Harvard Law School, Bryan could have gone anywhere—he chose to move to Alabama to help confront racial disparities and reform the criminal justice system. On the pod, they...


Season 2 of Clear+Vivid with Alan Alda Starts Nov 13th - Official Trailer

Season 2 of Clear+Vivid with Alan Alda starts on November 13th! Listen to the official trailer to meet some of Alan's next guests -- you're not going to want to miss the spectacular bonus episodes in the works! New episodes are available every Tuesday. Subscribe and listen for free on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you like to enjoy podcasts. For more details and to subscribe to Alan's newsletter, please visit These episodes are made possible thanks to the generous...


Hostage Crisis: How to Negotiate Through the Unthinkable with Chris Voss

Chris Voss is a former FBI hostage negotiator who has used communication to save lives. Alan Alda interviews Chris about his experiences and they discuss intense situations where empathy has been successfully used as a tool to guard against the unthinkable. Alan also has a few tricks up his own sleeve as he lures Chris into a role play situation to see how well he does under pressure.


Father Greg Boyle on Compassion, Kinship, and Real Ways to Help Others

How do you talk to a member of a deadly gang? How do you help someone leave that life, and why did they join it in the first place? The answers are surprising. And they throw light on how to communicate with anyone. In this episode of Clear+Vivid Alan Alda has a lively and eye-opening conversation with Father Greg Boyle who tells how his Homeboys Industries in Los Angeles has been a lifeline to thousands of young people escaping the deadly culture of gang life. And how he answers violence...


Isabella Rossellini on Communicating the Wonder of Nature

Isabella Rossellini is a legendary actress, iconic model, filmmaker, writer, and now - if that's not enough - she's working on her master's degree in Animal Behavior. In this wildly fun conversation, Alan Alda talks with Isabella about how how animals communicate with one another and with us. And how Isabella communicates with us about the sometimes bizarre sex lives of animals — in her popular video series called "Green Porno."


The Quest to Understand Ourselves Through Art and Mind

Is a work of art complete if no one experiences it? Nobel Prize winner Eric Kandel talks with Alan Alda about the vital role of the audience when we communicate through art and story And his prize-winning discoveries on memory come alive in his own memorable stories.


Cheryl Strayed Shares Her Advice on How to Give Advice

Cheryl Strayed, one of the most exciting and uplifting authors of our time, is funny, down to earth, complex, and the perfect person to offer Alan Alda solid advice about how to give good advice. She's the author of Tiny Beautiful Things and the co-host of the New York Times/WBUR podcast Dear Sugars, which originated with her popular Dear Sugar advice column, and she's the co-author of The Sweet Spot advice column in the New York Times Thursday Styles section. Her novel, Wild, about her life...


George Mitchell on Bringing Together Enemies - Part 2 Northern Ireland

George Mitchell helped end decades of lethal violence in Northern Ireland with the historic accord known as the Good Friday Agreement. In this episode Alan Alda talks with Sen. Mitchell about how he achieved that agreement through effective communication, and an understanding of human nature. He describes the essential elements of effective communication that brought together the governments of Ireland and the United Kingdom as well as the political parties of Northern Ireland, bringing an...


Tina Fey and the Transformative Power of Improv

Two icons of improv and comedy together on the same podcast. Alan Alda and Tina Fey - do we need to say more? This episode was originally recorded live on stage. Tina also joined Alan in studio to answer 7 questions about herself. Her answers are profound and funny and show why she's one of the great comedians of all time.


Ann Patchett on Novelists and the Sources of Empathy in Story

Ann Patchett is a best selling author with an uncanny ability to write amazing characters, who capture our imagination and hold us in their emotional grip. Alan Alda talks with Ann about her approach to writing and how empathy influences both her stories and her personal life.


Bringing Together Enemies - Part 1: The Middle East

Author and activist Letty Cottin Pogrebin reflects on the modern state of feminism and the #MeToo movement – and how she’s brought people together in the Middle East through experiences that change their understanding of one another. (In Part 2 of these conversations on “Bringing Enemies Together” Senator George Mitchell discusses bringing peace to Northern Ireland.)