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Clear+Vivid with Alan Alda
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Clear+Vivid with Alan Alda

Author: Alan Alda

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Learn to connect better with others in every area of your life. Immerse yourself in spirited conversations with people who know how hard it is, and yet how good it feels, to really connect with other people – whether it’s one person, an audience or a whole country. You'll know many of the people in these conversations – they are luminaries in our culture. Some you may not know. But what links them all is their powerful ability to relate and communicate. It's something we need now more than ever.
114 Episodes
The President of MIT on how we can lead the world in technology again—and how he’s helping change the educational model so it can survive in the new world of at-home learning. Support the show:
The renowned researcher and author on emotional literacy and the strengths that lead to better relationships. Support the show:
His recent book Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis, could hardly be more timely. And it has a fascinating twist, seeking links between how individuals deal with crises – with insights from his clinical psychologist wife – to how nations succeed or fail when confronted with a crisis. Support the show:
Alan Guth is the man who put the bang in the Big Bang, when late one night he came up with the astonishing idea ­– astonishing even to him – that the universe grew from a fraction of an ounce into the entire cosmos in an incomprehensibly brief moment of time. His insight that night, the theory that became known as inflation, is now the foundation for ideas about the cosmos that are as astonishing as inflation itself, including the idea that an infinite number new universes are being created all the time. Support the show:
Alan talks with old friends Marlo and Phil about their interviews with 40 couples who have enjoyed long marriages. What did they find out about the happy marriages of other couples, and what did they find out about their own, as they approached their 40th anniversary? Support the show:
Jake Tapper can turn things around when he interviews politicians and government leaders. This time he does it by interviewing Alan, who usually would be interviewing him. It becomes a conversation about interviewing that throws light on how we all talk to one another. Support the show:
Alan talks with the woman who’s been given the job of leading the fight to conquer all disease by 2100. They discuss whether it’s actually possible and how her life has led her from studying a tiny transparent worm to such a challenging task. Support the show:
Steven Pinker and Alan explore the words we use that bind us together, even when asking someone to pass the guacamole. A conversation that explores the surprising ways we have of connecting through language – and why, despite our current crises, some things in the world really have become better. Support the show:
Alan gets Loretta Swit and Mike Farrell on the horn to see how they’re doing during the lockdown. It’s like old times again. Support the show:
The co-inventor of the powerful gene editing tool called CRISPR, Jennifer Doudna describes for Alan her hopes for new treatments and possibly even cures for diseases that are today incurable. She also tells him about her efforts to make sure that ethical concerns over gene editing are addressed — and how she copes with having become a scientific superstar. Support the show:
Alan checks out this year’s Kavli Prizes and discovers how figuring out why hot peppers are hot could lead to new pain killing drugs; how putting a tiny black hole in your gas tank would give you a mileage of a billion miles per gallon; and why giving a new generation of electron microscopes the ability to see atoms was a little like being able to see inside a baking cake while it’s still in the oven. Support the show:
He’s a Nobel and Kavli prizewinner for his role in what’s been described as one of humanity’s greatest scientific achievements – the detection of ripples in the fabric of space. He can also explain what that means! Kip Thorne is deeply committed to communicating science, even bringing it before the public by working with artists and filmmakers. Including, more than once, with Alan Alda. Support the show:
Alan sits down with physicist Brian Greene in front of a virtual audience to talk about how Brian sees himself (and you and me) as nothing more than an ephemeral cluster of particles in a dying universe—and how that gives him a deep sense of gratitude for his own existence. Along with wonder at how other mere collections of particles can compose the 9th Symphony or write Hamlet. Support the show:
The little things Carl Zimmer knows a lot about are genes, parasites and viruses. And he knows how to talk about them in a way that will stay with you forever. In this episode, Alan Alda and Carl Zimmer chat about heredity, evolution and one particularly amazing parasite. But it’s not creepy. It’s fascinating. Support the show:
It’s a problem when you have so many worlds to explore at once. How long until we colonize Mars? Can we turn the Sahara Desert into a Garden of Eden oasis? How can humans live in a lava tube on the moon? Jim Green is the Chief Scientist at NASA and he's not only been pondering these questions, he's been working to make them happen. Jim  likes to think big - about big ideas, big challenges, and bigger solutions! In this episode, Jim Green and Alan Alda talk about planetary exploration and how life itself survives and thrives in the strangest of places.  Support the show:
Unconscious bias is a widely used term and, too often, not well understood. It can be devastating for those it impacts. And coming to grips with unconscious bias in our own thinking can be unsettling. Like many others, Alan Alda found it hard to believe that the unconscious bias test he took accurately reflected his own thinking. So, to find out more, Alan sat down with Dr. Kuheli Dutt, who is meticulous in her research into the hidden biases we all have. Dr. Dutt is the Diversity Officer at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University and has written about how these unconscious biases can distort judgments about who can be a scientist – to the detriment of science itself.  Support the show:
Fareed Zakaria, the noted journalist, broadcaster, and author, talked with Alan Alda on this episode of Clear+Vivid back in February, before the coronavirus consumed not only our lives and livelihoods, but also any other topic of conversation. But what’s fascinating is how much Fareed's thoughts on the importance of a fulfilled life – an examined life – resonates with us now, when we are all trying to cope with a world in which everything is so uncertain.  Support the show:
Your host, Alan Alda, has been friends with Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks for over forty years. Carl and Mel have been friends with each other for seventy years. During that time, they’ve created, together or separately, some of the most memorable comedy in our lives -- from iconic movies and TV series to Broadway shows and books.Their sketches on the Sid Caesar show in the 1950s will still leave you gasping on the floor. And so will their recording of the “2000 Year Old Man” that began as improvised entertainment at parties and never stopped. Mel and Carl aren’t as old yet as Mel’s character of the 2,000 Year Old Man, but the two of them together in this life-affirming episode are just as wise and just as funny. Sit back, relax, and get ready to join Mel, Carl, and Alan together from Carl’s house in Beverly Hills.  Support the show:
On this episode of Clear+Vivid, Alan Alda, welcomes his friend Ira Flatow to the show. Ira hosts the wildly popular Science Friday series for public radio (and it's also a podcast). What happens when you put these two passionate advocates for science communication together on one podcast? Well, you discover that they both enjoy infecting others with a passion for science — the one kind of infection we could really use right now. Support the show:
How do you interview an octopus for a podcast? We're pretty sure that Alan Alda's interview with Ruddy, a giant pacific octopus, who lives at the New England Aquarium is a first for a podcast. While Ruddy is a little shy and silent for our mics, Alan did find the naturalist and author, Sy Montgomery, much more communicative. Sy is the author of the New York Times bestseller, "The Soul of Octopus." She's an expert on creatures great and small and what we can learn about communication, observation, and humility from the other animals in the kingdom.  Support the show:
Comments (31)

Harris Lieberman

Heard earlier today about Carl Reiner's passing.

Jul 1st

April Smith

I just watched the clip of Alda on the "OH, Hello" show. it would be amazing if he could have John Mulaney and Nick Kroll on the podcast

Jun 15th

Allicia Rae

Finding this podcast super interesting, but please note that Tasmania is a state of Australia, not a separate country...

Apr 17th

Allicia Rae

What an amazing interview.

Apr 17th


I absolutely love this podcast. I admit that Alan Alda has been a favorite of mine since I was 5 and laying in front of the TV with my cousin while we watched MASH together. Now I try to listen to the podcast but more often than not I fall asleep the first time I listen to an episode because I find Alan Alda's voice so familiar and calming

Dec 6th

RebeccaRose X SkyDancer


Aug 11th

Veronica Choice

Thank you all.

Jun 30th

Shelby Taylor Paxton

Website at the end was incorrect for anybody wanting to check out Ear Hustle, the correct web address is :)

Jun 19th

Caren A. Kewer

"This is today, tomorrow will be better." GOLD. Thank you.

Jun 10th

Graciebelle Wonderland

Sometimes you hear the bullet was season 1 episode 17

Jun 8th


I just discovered this podcast and speaking as someone from the right I enjoy listening to someone on the left who is actually rational. Much respect to Alan for this, keep them coming.

Mar 20th

Derry Kingston

that was fun!

Feb 18th

Phil Conti

Super Mash..all the time. thkq

Feb 8th

Chip Zaring

more please, love you guys so much!!!

Feb 7th

John M

4 days and counting until M*A*S*H episode!!!

Feb 1st

Allen Matlins

Jan 31st

Diane Debinder

As a singer, this interview was familiar and enlightening, not to mention delightful!!! Thank you!

Jan 29th

Justin Dalke

Alan and Jamie- I am currently a member of the physical therapy industry and have some background in Parkinson's therapy. I am so happy to hear that you are setting an example with taking charge of and being creative with how you handle phywically functioning in your own world. It is encouraging even to those of us who don't struggle with Parkinson's!

Nov 21st

Richard Nieckau

Hey Alan and Co. - thanks for the great show! One request; let's hear more conversation including Sarah Chase, perhaps in trio? Richard

Nov 19th

Sheelagh Lawrance

w.w,e dd d dd dfd

Oct 2nd
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