Graham Chedd has spent nearly 30 years helping established scientists communicate their findings by giving them a platform—television—to reach audiences. As a visiting professor at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, he will help science and health graduate students become better communicators by sharing those experiences with them.
“It’s interesting to see people that are just starting at the beginning and help them develop their communication skills,” Chedd said. “Because I’ve worked with a lot of scientists who have those skills, I’ve learned a lot that I hope to be able to impart on the next generation.”
This fall he will help teach a graduate course titled “Distilling Your Message,” which focuses on clearly engaging different audiences, and participate in some of the workshops the Center holds. He will also help develop a website for people who have come through the program to stay in touch with the goals of the Center and each other.
Chedd came to the Center, which is housed in the School of Journalism, through Alan Alda, who he has worked with since 1993 when they met while working on PBS series “Scientific American Frontiers.” Chedd produced the program and Alda hosted it.
They teamed up again in 2008 for “The Human Spark,” which won the 2010 AAAS/Kavli Prize for in-depth television science reporting, and their latest project, “Brains on Trial,” will air on PBS at 10 p.m. ET on Sept. 11 and Sept. 18, 2013.
Chedd attended the Stars of Stony Brook Gala in May 2013, which honored Alda for his contributions to the school. At the event, Chedd met School of Journalism Dean Howard Schneider and discussed the possibility of joining the faculty.
During his time at the School of Journalism, he will continue working on projects through his company, The Chedd-Angier Production Company, which has produced over 100 prime-time programs for PBS, cable and corporate media projects and several multi-part telecourses.
Watch the trailer for “Brains on Trial” below: