Clear and Vivid® is a series of Alan Alda’s 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. With his unique blend of humor and insight, Alda explores the ways we can connect better with one another in every area of our lives. Something we need now more than ever.

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

Release Date: 11/06/2018

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 team has some fun turning the tables on Alan and asking him his own 7 questions. Find out what Alan has to say!

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Katie Couric and Sheryl Sandberg Take Over the Pod

Release Date: 10/30/2018

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 herself wrong— and how others can build resilience in the face of trauma, too. Sandberg wrote Option B with her friend Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist and Wharton professor. They both join Katie onstage at 92Y (92Y.org) in Manhattan to discuss insights from the book, including how to support grieving children, dating after loss, and the “three P’s” that can hinder recovery

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Katie Couric and Bryan Stevenson Take Over the Pod

Release Date: 10/23/2018

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 discuss Bryan’s childhood experiences with school segregation, the problem with Confederate monuments, and shining a light on one of the darkest chapters in American history: the post-Civil War period of Jim Crow and lynching.

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

Release Date: 10/02/2018

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.

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

Release Date: 09/25/2018

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 with tenderness.

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Isabella Rossellini on Communicating the Wonder of Nature

Release Date: 09/18/2018

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.”

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The Quest to Understand Ourselves Through Art and Mind

Release Date: 09/11/2018

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.

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Cheryl Strayed Shares Her Advice on How to Give Good Advice

Release Date: 09/04/2018

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 in the wake of tragic events, is a well-known bestseller and a feature movie.

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George Mitchell on Bringing Together Enemies Part 2: Northern Ireland

Release Date: 08/28/2018

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 end to a seemingly endless cycle of violence. Sen. Mitchell served as a Special Advisor to President Clinton on Ireland, and acted as the Independent Chairman of the Northern Ireland Peace Talks.

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Tina Fey and the Transformative Power of Improv

Release Date: 08/21/2018

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.

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Ann Patchett on Novelists and the Sources of Empathy in Story

Release Date: 08/14/2018

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.

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Letty Cottin Pogrebin on Bringing Together Enemies. Part 1: The Middle East

Release Date: 08/07/2018

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.)

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Is Empathy Good or Bad? Alan Alda Speaks with Paul Bloom

Release Date: 07/31/2018

Yale Professor Paul Bloom doesn’t think empathy is such a good thing. He’s even written a book about it called, The Case Against Empathy. However, he does have an interesting theory about what he calls rational compassion. Paul and Alan Alda discuss their views for and against empathy and find out that they have more in common than they thought.

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Renée Fleming on the Healing Power of Music

Release Date: 07/24/2018

Surprisingly, Renée Fleming has been using her iconic voice to help scientists discover how music heals us. Alan talks with Renée about their mutual interest in science, her new starring role in Carousel, and what it’s like to really be present as a performer.

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Judge Judy on How to Figure Out Who’s Telling the Truth

Release Date: 07/17/2018

Every day, 10 million Americans watch Judge Judy on TV. Her style is direct and to the point. Her job is to know how to quickly separate fact from fiction. She talks with Alan about justice and what it’s like for a judge to have such an impact on the lives of others.

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Kate Bowler and How to Handle the Worst News of All

Release Date: 07/13/2018

Alan talks with Kate about the awkward, funny, and often misguided, ways people approach the subject when they know someone is seriously ill. New York Times Bestselling author and Duke University divinity professor, Kate Bowler tells Alan how stage 4 cancer led her to write a humorous, and graceful book about communicating with someone who’s received the worst possible news.

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Itzhak Perlman on the Spontaneity and Connection of Performance

Release Date: 07/10/2018

In this delightful and spirited conversation, Alan Alda talks with his good friend the world-renowned violinist, Itzhak Perlman. They explore the power of spontaneity in both music and acting, and what happens when a musician talks to the audience.

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Sarah Silverman and the Joy of Enjoying People You Don’t Agree With

Release Date: 07/10/2018

Alan Alda talks with comedian Sarah Silverman about how she befriended someone who was hateful toward her on Twitter, and how her new series on Hulu challenges her to connect with people that she doesn’t agree with. Her question to us is “Can Americans put down their “porcupine needles” and really listen to one another again?”

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Official Trailer

Release Date: 05/23/2018

Clear and Vivid is a series of Alan Alda’s 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. With his unique blend of humor and insight, Alda explores the ways we can connect better with one another in every area of our lives. Something we need now more than ever. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher. Visit AlanAlda.com for more details. Follow Alan on Twitter @alanalda and find us on Instagram and Facebook @clearandvivid. Launches July 10th!

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The Actors from M*A*S*H — On How M*A*S*H Changed Our Lives

Release Date: 02/05/2019

M*A*S*H is the most beloved and one of the most watched TV shows of all time. It set viewing records that have never been broken and is ranked as one of the top 25 shows of all time. In this exclusive podcast, actors from this legendary show gather together for an uproarious and totally candid conversation about how they learned to connect with one another to create their special brand of entertainment on the screen and lifelong friendships off-camera. Join Alan Alda (“Capt.Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce”),Loretta Swit (“Maj. Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan”),Jamie Farr (“Sgt. Maxwell Q. “Max” Klinger),Mike Farrell (Capt. B. J. Hunnicutt), and Gary Burghoff (Cpl. Walter “Radar” O’Reilly) for this intimate gathering of your M*A*S*H pals. The gang invites you to share in the memories and the laughter. Mostly the laughter — after all this is the 4077th. This episode is sponsored by the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University, please visit aldacenter.org/vivid for more details.

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Sheila Nevins on Age, Sex, Love, Life, and Everything Else

Release Date: 01/29/2019

Sheila Nevins has explored the human condition in the thousand or so documentaries she produced for HBO. From more than 30 years of telling us stories about ourselves, to her experience as a woman in the workplace, Sheila has plenty to say about communicating. And she never holds back. In this delightful episode, Alan Alda talks with Sheila about her life, how she feels about aging, the #MeToo movement, sex, divorce, documentaries, storytelling, and just about everything else! This episode is sponsored by Calm. Check out www.calm.com/alda for more details.

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Official Trailer – The Actors from M*A*S*H — On How M*A*S*H Changed Our Lives

Release Date: 01/26/2019

Coming Tuesday, February 5th! M*A*S*H will be back for a one-time, exclusive episode with all your familiar friends — join Alan Alda, Loretta Swit, Jamie Farr, Mike Farrell, and Gary Burghoff for an intimate and candid conversation about their personal experiences of being part of one of the most beloved TV shows of all time; and the lessons they learned about how to connect, communicate, and to relate with one another in the process. Subscribe or listen for free at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, or wherever you like to listen to podcasts. More details at AlanAlda.com

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Senator Bill Bradley on How We Can All Do Better

Release Date: 01/22/2019

Senator Bill Bradley has an amazing life. He was a Gold medal Olympian, a Rhodes Scholar, a legendary star with the Knicks for 10 years, a United Sates Senator for 12 years. He ran for the Democratic party’s Presidential nomination, and to top it off, he’s the host of the long-running SiriusXM Satellite Radio program – “American Voices.” In this episode, Alan Alda speaks with Sen. Bradley about leading a life of curiosity, learning and service. His stories are fun and he has a lot to say about our fellow Americans. This episode is sponsored by Athletic Greens, visit athleticgrrens.com/alda

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Christian Picciolini on Escaping the Neo-Nazi Movement and Helping Others Leave It Behind

Release Date: 01/15/2019

Christian Picciolini is the author of “White American Youth: My Descent Into America’s Most Violent Hate Movement – And How I Got Out.” His story helps the rest of us understand what leads an ordinary person take on a life of hate and violence. He knows because he was once a leading organizer for the Neo-Nazi movement. In this emotionally riveting conversation, Alan Alda and Christian talk frankly about the underlying issues of hate and anger and how we can help people leave their hate behind and take on new lives.

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Jaron Lanier on Why You Should Delete Your Social Media Accounts Right Now

Release Date: 01/08/2019

Should you shut down your social media accounts right now? Jaron Lanier thinks so, and he knows the tech world. He helped build the Internet and was one of the creators of virtual reality. But now, he believes something has gone very wrong with our new digital world. In this episode, Jaron joins Alan Alda to discuss social media addiction, the crisis at Facebook, how our behavior is being subtly manipulated, and how the means of communication that we hoped would bring us closer together – is doing exactly the opposite.

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Rachael Ray on Communicating Through the Medium of Food

Release Date: 12/18/2018

Rachael Ray knows how to relate over food. When she cooks, she’s always thinking about her audience and how to communicate a message through the medium of food. Her energy and talent have led her to create a billion dollar lifestyle empire, built around the concept of fun, healthy, and joyous experiences with food. In this episode of Clear+Vivid, Rachael Ray and Alan Alda cook up some pasta together and enjoy a lively conversation around the dinner table! This special holiday episode is sponsored by Calm — the #1 app for meditation and sleep.

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W. Kamau Bell on How He Communicates with Racists

Release Date: 12/11/2018

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 possible to talk with someone who you genuinely disagree with, like a member of the KKK — and still find relatable qualities, even humor. Before they finish, Kamau surprises Alan with a guest of his own!

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

Release Date: 12/08/2018

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 Brook University. Since 2009, the Alda Center has trained more than 12,000 scientists using improv and advanced communication techniques to help them be more empathic and more effective communicators. Dr. Pati has been working with Dr. Lindenfeld and Alan to create a training program for medical communication at the Alda Center. In this episode (part 3 of 3) we further explore the doctor-patient relationship and the efforts doctors are making to be more empathic, both with their patients and with their entire teams.

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

Release Date: 12/06/2018

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 special series of three shows to doctor-patient relations and how better understanding can be achieved through empathy and deeper listening. This is part 2 of 3. Part 3 will be available on December 8th.

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

Release Date: 12/04/2018

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, followed by Dr. Karl VanDevender (available December 6th) and two experts in communication, Dr. Laura Lindenfeld and Dr. Susmita Pati, from the Alda Center at Stony Brook University (available December 8th).

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Marc Maron on What Podcasting Has Taught Him About Relating

Release Date: 11/27/2018

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 open up, understand himself, and eventually to relate better to others.

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Neil deGrasse Tyson on Communicating Science So We Actually Get It

Release Date: 11/20/2018

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 the weird physics of how things swirl around on earth (like clouds in a hurricane, or water in a toilet bowl).

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

Release Date: 11/13/2018

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 diagnosed 3 years ago and recently went public with his own story about living with Parkinson’s. In this exclusive interview, Alan and Michael join one another for a raw and revealing conversation, recorded live in Michael’s apartment.

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

Release Date: 10/02/2018

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 AlanAlda.com. These episodes are made possible thanks to the generous support of our advertisers. All the profits from this podcast go to the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University to further support research in science communication and research.

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Tribalism: How we overcome the “Us” vs. “Them” Mentality

Release Date: 05/21/2019

You need little more evidence these days that our country is badly divided than to toggle back and forth between Fox News and MSNBC – two perspectives on the same day’s events that might be coming from two different universes. We have become a nation of tribes. We didn’t set out on Clear+Vivid to explore this divide, but in our conversations about connecting and communicating, the topic kept coming up. On this podcast, Alan Alda has talked to people as diverse as politicians, comedians, and psychologists. From each guest, we’ve heard not only possible reasons for the current tribalism, but also possible solutions. This episode explores some of Alan’s favorite guest insights about we can overcome this “Us” vs. “Them” mentality of tribalism.

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Empathy: What good is it anyway?

Release Date: 05/14/2019

Regular listeners to Clear+Vivid know that we have a thing for empathy, as do many of our guests. For our host, Alan Alda, empathy is the indispensable foundation for good communication. But exactly what empathy is isn’t always obvious – nor is it obvious that it’s always a good thing. So, we thought we could look back over the 40-odd conversations we’ve had on this podcast so far and see where and how empathy plays a role in our lives.

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Our Favorite Answers By Listeners to the 7 Questions

Release Date: 05/07/2019

We love hearing from our listeners! Through social media and email, you’ve been sending us your own answers to “Alan’s 7 Questions” and we’ve been having a great time reading through all your witty, smart, and often poignant responses. In this episode, we’re highlighting all of our favorites! We want to keep hearing from you, so please continue to write us at: podcast@aldacommunication.com or get social with us on Twitter @alda, or on Facebook and Instagram at “ClearandVivid.” Thanks for listening and enjoy the show — dedicated to all of you!

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The Best Guest Answers to Alan’s 7 Questions

Release Date: 04/30/2019

Why doesn’t Dr. Ruth talk about her sex life? What keeps Michael J. Fox optimistic? Why does Isabella Rossellini have a passion for animals? What’s the strangest question someone ever asked Tina Fey? How do Sarah Vowell and Sarah Silverman stop compulsive talkers? Our guests have hilarious, thoughtful, and heartwarming answers to Alan Alda’s “7 Questions” — in this episode, we bring you all of our favorites.

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Alan Alda and Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast

Release Date: 04/23/2019

Clear+Vivid with Alan Alda is coming back soon for a sensational season 4! In the meantime, we’ve been having a lot of fun behind the scenes creating bonus episodes, new experiences, and great content for you. And, we also want to introduce you to some of our favorite podcasters. So, here’s a podcast we like called Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast. In this episode Gilbert and Frank welcome a sought-after guest, writer-director-actor Alan Alda, who discusses (among other topics) growing up in Burlesque theaters, working with his father Robert Alda, coping with the pressures of sudden fame and learning to live life “in the moment.” Also, Buster Keaton does a backflip, Mickey Rooney “hails a cab,” Sarah Silverman forms an unlikely friendship and Alan remembers M*A*S*H colleagues Harry Morgan, Wayne Rogers and McLean Stevenson. PLUS: The Great Blackstone! “The Beast with Five Fingers”! Revisiting “Crimes and Misdemeanors”! Beetlepuss rescues Bela Lugosi! And Alan shares the stage with Red Buttons, Phil Silvers and Mae West!

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David Flink on How We Can All Think Differently About Learning

Release Date: 04/16/2019

How do you learn? It may be different from how I learn. David Flink knows about learning differences. Dave was diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD in grade school, but with the right support he got into an Ivy League college. There, he helped start a program for kids with a diagnosis of dyslexia or ADHD to be mentored by college students with the same diagnosis. Dave’s program, “Eye to Eye,” is now entering its 20th year and Dave has written a book, titled “Thinking Differently,” recounting his experience and that of hundreds of others. In this episode, Dave talks with Alan Alda about how we all learn differently. And that’s something we can all learn from.

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Pardis Sabeti on How Science Can Be Infectious

Release Date: 04/09/2019

At Harvard, she’s known as the “rollerblading, rockstar scientist.” Pardis Sabeti mines the human genome for its secrets to eradicate deadly scourges. Her breakthrough work helped tackle an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in Africa. She also finds time to write and perform with a rock band. In this episode, Pardis and Alan Alda talk about her extraordinary work, and how to tackle any challenge with empathy, humanity, and a whole lot of fun.

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Steven Johnson on the Importance of Play and the Decisions We Make

Release Date: 04/02/2019

How do we come up with ideas? How do we make decisions? And how can we do both better? Steven Johnson has explored this question and written a dozen books about it. In this playful, thoughtful episode, Steven has some fascinating stories, like how Darwin made the decision to get married — or how a defecating duck helped lead to the invention of the computer. Through their own stories, Steven and Alan share their thoughts about the transformative nature of ideas and what sort of environments best give rise to creativity.

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Steven Strogatz Says You Can Understand Math

Release Date: 03/26/2019

Steven Strogatz possesses a special ability to see into the unseen. How does he do it? Steve is a world class mathematician, who sees through the window of math. But, lucky for us, he’s also a world class communicator. An award-winning professor, researcher, author, and creative thinker, Steve can help anyone (even Alan Alda) understand some of the unseen world of numbers. In this episode, Alan and Steven start from zero, not the number, but from a place of not knowing anything. He emerges from the darkness for a moment as Steve actually gets Alan to understand something that’s always mystified him. Steven’s latest book, “Infinite Powers: How Calculus Reveals the Secrets of the Universe,” is now available online and at all major book sellers.

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Steven Strogatz Bonus – What to Do When Things Keep Changing!

Release Date: 03/26/2019

Alan Alda wanted to get off the island quickly. Steven Strogatz explains how an 18th century British clergyman could have helped. In this short bonus episode, Steven helps Alan understand something that he’s wondered about for years.

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Jonathan Haidt on Why We’re So Divided and What to Do About It

Release Date: 03/19/2019

How do we get beyond Right versus Left, “Us” versus “Them,” and even “Me” versus “You”? Jonathan Haidt has a few theories about this all too-familiar tribalism and the seemingly endless culture wars of our time. As someone who studies morality and emotion, Jonathan has deep insight into the moral foundation of our politics and his research in moral psychology has revealed new ways for us to engage in more civil forms of politics, which can help make us all more cooperative and decent. In this conversation, Alan Alda talks with Jonathan about what makes us happy and how we can overcome our natural tendency toward self-righteousness, in order to respect and learn from those whose morality (and politics) differs from our own.

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Michael Tomasello On the Surprising Origins of Communication and Cooperation

Release Date: 03/12/2019

How do we actually learn to communicate? How is it different from how other animals learn it? Michael Tomasello explores what may be at the very heart of relating and communicating: shared attention. Alan Alda first met Michael when he interviewed him a few years ago in Leipzig, Germany. Michael was already doing experiments that studied the differences between how human children and chimps learn to communicate. He’s tracked the fascinating path humans take in learning to connect with one another – and we can learn a lot from it. Michael Tomasello heads up the world renowned Tomasello Lab at Duke University. His latest book, “Becoming Human: A Theory of Ontogeny” offers a radical reconsideration of how we develop the qualities that make us human, based on Michael’s decades of cutting-edge experimental work when he was the head of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

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Sarah Vowell on Writing with Clarity (and Shenanigans)

Release Date: 03/05/2019

Sarah Vowell is not short on facets. She’s writer, a historian, a satirist, a radio star and an actor. While he writing voice can be satirical, you might recognize her speaking voice as that of Violet in the Pixar animated series “The Incredibles.” She’s a contributor to the public radio show This American Life, and has written seven New York Times’ bestselling books on culture and American history — all from a number of strange and interesting angles. In this conversation, Alan Alda and Sarah explore writing for different kinds of audiences— and her irresistible attraction to verbal shenanigans.

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Sherry Turkle on How We’re Losing Touch With One Another and What We Can Do About It

Release Date: 02/26/2019

Sherry Turkle is an expert on both our cultural and personal well-being. She’s a professor at MIT, an author, a licensed clinical psychologist, and someone who’s deeply concerned about how people connect and communicate. In this conversation with Alan Alda, Sherry shares her concerns about mobile technology, social networks, AI, and robots. She explores our relationships with our devices and how our constant connectedness isn’t always the best thing for us — and what we can do to disconnect from our technology to reconnect with our humanity.

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Stephen Fry On How Our Myths Help Us Know Who We Are

Release Date: 02/19/2019

Stephen Fry loves words. But he does more than love them. He puts them together in ways that so delight readers, that a blog or a tweet by him can get hundreds of thousands of people hanging on his every keystroke. As an actor, he’s brought to life every kind of theatrical writing from sketch comedy to classics. He’s performed in everything from game shows to the British audiobook version of Harry Potter. And always with a rich intelligence and searching eye. In this conversation with Alan Alda, Stephen explores how myths — sometimes very ancient ones — help us understand and, even guide, our modern selves.

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Dr. Ruth on Communicating Under the Covers and Above

Release Date: 02/12/2019

Her name is Ruth Westheimer, but we all know her as Dr. Ruth, the helpful lady who’s spoken to us for decades about sex. She’s always direct, to the point, and bubbling with insight about ourselves and our partners. In this frank conversation with Alan Alda, Dr. Ruth talks about how to achieve a long lasting relationship in a short term world. She also talks candidly about her past experience as a sniper, and shares her thoughts on sex and relationships as we age.

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Katie Couric on How to Make People Truly Care and Engage

Release Date: 08/13/2019

How do you engage a national audience and bring attention to a cause? Katie Couric’s decision to allow her colonoscopy to be broadcast live on television was but one highlight in an extraordinary career in television. As co-host of NBC’s Today show and later the first female anchor of a national nightly news program on CBS, her work has been distinguished by her ability to relate to her audience. In this episode, Katie and Alan Alda talk openly about her life as a well-known communicator and what it takes to make people care about an issue.

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Katharine Hayhoe on How to Talk About Climate Change

Release Date: 08/06/2019

Is there a way to bring up the climate crisis and not lose friends and disinfluence people? Katharine Hayhoe has found ways to communicate about a topic that desperately needs good communicating – the increasingly dire crisis that’s gripping our planet. What makes her so special is that she finds a way to connect with people – even people who deny the reality of climate change – through things that matter to them. In this episode, Alan Alda speaks with Dr. Hayhoe about the consequences of the decisions we make today on the livability of the planet in the future.

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Henry Schleiff on How to Lead a TV Network, Have an Impact, and Still Have Fun

Release Date: 07/30/2019

There’s a difference between communication and communications, with an “S.” The way we look at it, communicating is connecting with people; and communications with an “S” is the technical way you reach out to millions, as with broadcasting. Some people find ways to combine those two ideas in ways that have a real impact, and Henry Schleiff is one of them. With vast experience as a broadcaster, Henry has a thoughtful, funny angle on communication that he shares with Alan Alda in this entertaining episode.

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Dr. Eric Topol on How Artificial Intelligence Can Improve the Doctor-Patient Relationship

Release Date: 07/23/2019

Your visit to the doctor isn’t what it used to be. Now, there are more options for doctors to consider, and much less time for them to decide on them. Dr. Eric Topol, one of our country’s leading visionaries in the field of medicine, has a fascinating way of looking at this problem. Even though some experts on this show have talked about digital technology as a threat to our privacy, to our ability to relate, and in some cases even to our health, Dr. Topol tells us how machines can actually make a visit to the doctor more personal.

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Frans de Waal on What Chimps Can Teach Us About Ourselves

Release Date: 07/16/2019

Do animals have emotions? What can we learn from them about family, friendships, and stable relationships? A surprising amount. Frans de Waal began studying chimpanzees when he was a student. He’s the director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Center in Atlanta where he studies the social lives of chimpanzees and what they can tell us about ourselves.

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Adam Driver on How Theatre Can Help Heal Some Wounds of War

Release Date: 07/09/2019

There’s an “Art of War,” but is there a place for the arts in the military? Adam Driver is a brilliant young actor who is taking the worlds of television, film, and theater by storm. His own world changed in 2001, when he was just 18 and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. His experience in the military helped to shape who he is today, both as a person and as an actor. Adam is dedicated to giving back to his fellow servicemen and women. Alan Alda talks with Adam about his work in bringing together the world of civilians and the world of the military through powerful, shared experiences in the arts.

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Hope Jahren on How It Actually Seems Possible to Have Empathy for Plants

Release Date: 07/02/2019

Do you ever imagine what it’s like to be a plant? Do they communicate? Hope Jahren, author of the bestselling book, Lab Girl, has been fascinated by plants her whole life. As a scientist and author, she has dived so deep into the lives of plants that they come alive in our imaginations. This while weaving her own personal story of a life in science that allows us to share in her own experience. Hope is a fascinating teacher and she’s also a professor at the University of Oslo, so Alan Alda was especially delighted that during a recent trip to New York she had time before catching a Yankees game to join him for this episode of Clear+Vivid.

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Who Cares What Science Says? Chris Volpe on Why Some of Us Care and Some Don’t

Release Date: 06/25/2019

When you first think about science, what comes to mind first? What words do use to describe science? How does science make you feel? Asking these questions is Chris Volpe, who heads the non-profit organization Science Counts. Through its research into how the public sees the role that science plays in their lives, Science Counts has set itself the task of discovering what is needed to strengthen America’s commitment to science. In this episode, Alan Alda talks with Chris about how to make science more relatable and understandable.

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How Earlonne Woods and Nigel Poor Create One of the World’s Most Fascinating Podcasts

Release Date: 06/18/2019

Earlonne Woods was recently released from San Quentin prison after 20 years inside. For the last 3 years he’s been helping inmates get their stories out in a remarkable podcast called Ear Hustle. Ear Hustle is produced in creative collaboration with Nigel Poor, who met Earlonne when she was a volunteer teacher at the prison. In this episode, Alan sits down with Earlonne and Nigel to talk about how stories are made and, as importantly, how they get out.

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Carol Burnett: A Life of Comedy, Characters, and Connection

Release Date: 06/11/2019

Every Saturday night for 11 years, Carol Burnett communicated a sense of family to the entire country. She worked alongside other skilled comic actors. But it wasn’t just skill. There was always a sense of community among the actors and we in the audience felt we were invited in as part of the gang. It was fall-down-funny, belly laugh humor that new generations are still discovering. And they are still reacting to the warmth, still feeling that sense of family. Alan Alda wondered how she did it. In this endearing episode Alan and Carol talk about her life of comedy, characters, and connection.

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Madeleine Albright on the Uses and Abuses of Empathy and Power

Release Date: 06/04/2019

Empathy is a powerful tool and, when mixed with politics, it can be used to help the greater good. But, it also has a dark side. In this episode, Alan Alda speaks with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. As Secretary of State, she brought communication skills to international relations that were not only powerful, they were inventive and game changing. They also discuss her recently published best-selling book, “Fascism.”

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Official Trailer: Exclusive Sneak Peak of Season 4

Release Date: 05/28/2019

Season 4 of Clear+Vivid® with Alan Alda starts on Tuesday, June 4th! Listen to the official trailer to meet some of Alan’s next guests — including Madeleine Albright, Carol Burnett, Adam Driver, Katie Couric, and many more! 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 AlanAlda.com. These episodes are made possible thanks to the generous support of our advertisers. All the profits from this podcast go to the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University to further support research in science communication and research.

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Isabel Allende on the essential element – passion

Release Date: 10/29/2019

Her 1982 novel The House of the Spirits, was a breakthrough for women writers in Latin America and today Isabel Allende has written 23 books, sold 74 million copies, and had her work turned into 2 major motion pictures. Yet, what interested Alan Alda about Isabel the most is her lifelong advocacy for women’s rights. Around the world she’s been a true fighter for women’s reproductive rights, economic independence and freedom from violence. In this spirited conversation Alan asks her about her writing, magical realism, her work to empower women, her passions – and her thoughts on flirting.

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What Happens When an Economist Walks Into a Brothel?

Release Date: 10/22/2019

Allison Schrager set out to examine unusual subcultures, looking for clues that would deepen her understanding of risk and other economic realities. The result of her curious adventures is a book with the wonderfully provocative title, An Economist Walks Into a Brothel. In this episode, Allison offers her sage advice to Alan Alda on topics as varied as how to take risks and how hearing the word “no” can actually mean you’ve done well in a negotiation.

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Say It With Funny. Frank Santopadre, Alan Zweibel, and Alan Alda on Comedy

Release Date: 10/15/2019

What makes a good joke? Why do some fall flat while others are met with a LOL, even an ROTFL? Is a joke ever out of bounds? In this episode, we examine the art of communicating with humor. Alan Alda talks with writers Frank Santopadre and Alan Zweibel, who have spent their lives finding the funny in the meaningful and the meaningful in the funny. Join them as they explore the heart of “ha.”

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Is There a Revolution for Women In Science? Are Things Finally Changing?

Release Date: 10/08/2019

Despite many positive changes, women in science report continuing problems. When a colleague ignores your contribution, belittles your work, or even harasses you, what do you do? Women have been leading a revolution in science for many years, and their voices are now being heard like never before. In this special episode of Clear+Vivid, Alan Alda and his producers speak with pioneers in the revolution, their mentees, and some of today’s most outspoken advocates for professional women in the STEM fields. They have a lot to teach us about how to bring about equity for women in science— and how to keep it. Joining us in the studio and on location in their labs, we hear from Melinda Gates, Jo Handelsman, Nancy Hopkins, Hope Jahren, Pardis Sabeti, Leslie Vosshall, and many more. This special episode dives deep into the most troubling issues facing career women in science and offers real insight about what works, what doesn’t, and what we can all do to secure a more equal and fair future.

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Pat Metheny: Discovering Spontaneity in Music and Everything Else

Release Date: 10/01/2019

As Clear+Vivid listeners know, we love improvisation because of how important it can be to communication. In this episode Alan Alda had the opportunity to speak with someone who is at the forefront of combining improv and music. Alan’s guest this week is legendary jazz guitarist Pat Metheny. As it happens, Pat lives close to Alan’s apartment in Manhattan, so we asked him to drop by. Pat and Alan plunged into a conversation about improvisation even before the producers remembered to press the record button!

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Dr. Robert Sapolsky: What Does It Take to Really Understand Our Decisions?

Release Date: 09/24/2019

WWhat can animals teach us about our own decision-making process? Every summer for 25 years, Dr. Robert Sapolsky has been studying baboons on the plains of Africa, where he’s learned a surprising amount about why we behave the way we do. In this episode Alan Alda speaks with Dr. Sapolsky about his experiences with animals (both human and baboon) and learns about the fascinating similarities in our behavior, our decision-making process, and how we communicate with each other about things we understand and things we don’t.

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Brian Greene: Can the Rest of Us See the Beauty of Nature That Scientists See?

Release Date: 09/17/2019

How can scientist’s better bring their complex and deep understanding of nature up to the surface? How can they help us see the marvels they see and revel in the hidden beauty of nature? Brian Greene is not only a brilliant theoretical physicist, but he’s also someone who’s completely dedicated to bringing the wonder of science to the rest of us. Alan Alda has always been curious about how the world’s top scientific minds can commute their knowledge and understanding, so the rest of us can share in their passion and discoveries. In this episode Alan and Brian dive right into science communication and discover a whole world dedicated to this shared mission.

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Yo-Yo Ma: On Bringing the World Together – Through Listening

Release Date: 09/10/2019

Can music be a story? And, can that story, and the emotions it stirs in us, be something that can unite us? In this conversation, Alan Alda explores this idea with his friend Yo-Yo Ma. Alan has just heard Yo-Yo play all six of the Bach Cello Suites in a concert. An amazingly moving performance – and just one of the performances of the cello suites that he’ll be doing in 36 different locations around the world. Yo-Yo calls it the Bach Project, in which the beauty of the music is only the beginning. Each concert is tied to “A Day of Action,” conversations and collaborations, unique to each location, that grapple with the concerns of the people who live there. The audience listens to Yo-Yo and Yo-Yo listens to them. Listening may be what unites us.

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Laura Brown: How Did She Become a Badass Woman? And what is it?

Release Date: 09/03/2019

Laura Brown is the Editor in Chief of InStyle Magazine. Recently, she had the graceful chutzpa to feature Alan Alda in her magazine as a badass. Alan had no idea what that meant, so he couldn’t let it go unexplored. It turns out, being called a badass can be a really good compliment, and this led Alan and Laura to an interesting discussion of what style is, what it communicates, and how it spreads. Laura is a lively person, so Alan invited her to join him before a live audience at Guild Hall in East Hampton, New York. This podcast was recorded live at Guild Hall on August 20, 2019.

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Melinda Gates: Can Listening Change the World?

Release Date: 08/27/2019

When someone wants to make the world a better place – and actually has the means to do it – you wonder: How do they go about it? What are their guiding principles? What works and what doesn’t? In this candid and inspiring interview, Alan Alda asks Melinda Gates about her work as a philanthropist and her lifelong dedication to social change. They discuss her book, “The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World,” and what happens when the data suggests one course of action, but the reality on the ground suggests another? Can a little more listening, especially to women, be the way to help change the world?

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Producer’s Cut: Exclusive Sneak Peek at Season 5

Release Date: 08/20/2019

Season 5 of Clear+Vivid® with Alan Alda starts on Tuesday, August 27th! Listen to the exclusive producer’s cut of the official trailer to meet some of Alan’s next guests — including Melinda Gates, Yo-Yo Ma, Robert Sapolsky, and many more! 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 AlanAlda.com. These episodes are made possible thanks to the generous support of our presenting sponsor, Discovery. All the profits from this podcast go to the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University to further support research in science communication and research. Visit AldaCenter.org for details.

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Noah Baumbach: The Acclaimed Film Director on Giving Directions

Release Date: 12/03/2019

What does a director look for in actor? How does a director create a sense of family and community on a set? How does a director get an actor to relate? Noah Baumbach is the director of films like “The Squid and the Whale,” “Frances Ha,” and now the critically-acclaimed film, “Marriage Story.” Alan Alda sat down with Noah to ask him about his career as both a writer and director, and his take on writing compelling scripts for specific actors. Noah also speaks with Alan about how to bring out the best in each performance and how to know when to make a cut to make the greatest impact.

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Julie Andrews and Daughter Emma Walton Hamilton on the Hard Work of Home Work

Release Date: 11/26/2019

She’s an icon of stage and of screen, with one of the most recognized voices in the world. And, no matter where she is in the world, Julie Andrews always brings a little bit of home with her. In this episode, Alan Alda sits down with Julie and her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, to talk about how they’ve learned to collaborate as writing partners and how Julie has worked tirelessly throughout her career to make sure home and family never got lost in the work. As she says, it’s never been easy to combine home and work together, but imagination, playfulness, and determination can help keep the feelings of home — warmth, safety, and understanding — with you throughout your life.

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It’s Not Just You: Curiosity Daily Explains Quirks of Human Behavior

Release Date: 11/19/2019

Clear+Vivid returns next Tuesday, November 26th with the legendary Julie Andrews! In the meantime, check out our new favorite podcast, Curiosity Daily, presented by your hosts Ashley Hamer and Cody Gough! The Curiosity Daily podcast relies on science to help listeners understand the world — and themselves — better. In this special presentation, you’ll hear some of of Cody and Ashley’s favorite stories that answer the question: is it just me? You’ll learn about how your friendships change as you get older, why it’s so hard to exercise after work, why you talk louder while you’re wearing headphones, and cutting-edge insights into the science of jealousy. Whether you’re curious about relationships or your sleep habits, you’ll learn more about yourself and the people around you with Curiosity Daily. Alan Alda and the team at Clear+Vivid will be back with you next week! Thanks for listening!

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How to Live Better: Curiosity Daily Shares Scientific Life Hacks

Release Date: 11/12/2019

As a special treat for listeners of Clear+Vivid, we’re publishing two bonus episodes of Curiosity Daily on Tuesday, November 12th and Tuesday, November 19th, so you can discover this great podcast for yourself! The Curiosity Daily podcast taps the latest scientific research to make you smarter about the world. In this special presentation from hosts Cody Gough and Ashley Hamer, you’ll hear some of their favorite stories about research-based life hacks, including how to get a better night’s sleep, how to better manage your time and money, and even how to get over a breakup! Plus a few other surprises we think you’ll like. So let’s talk life hacks! From your morning routine to your exercise regimen, you’ll learn how to live your best life with Curiosity Daily. Enjoy! Season 6 of Clear+Vivid returns with new episodes on Tuesday, November 26th!

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Alan Alda Speaks with Ashley Hamer and Cody Gough from Curiosity Daily

Release Date: 11/05/2019

What’s brown fat? How do you tell when someone is lying? What’s the healthiest way to cook broccoli? Ashley Hamer and Cody Gough are the hosts of the wildly popular podcast, Curiosity Daily. They’ve been helping listeners learn about our minds and bodies, outer space, the depths of the sea, and how history shaped the world into what it is today. In this episode of Clear+Vivd, Alan Alda, who, himself, is curious daily, wanted to know more about how Ashley and Cody dig into these subjects. And, as a special treat for our listeners, we’ll be publishing two bonus episodes of Curiosity Daily on Tuesday, November 12th and Tuesday, November 19th, so you can discover this great podcast for yourself!