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Tug-of-War Will Certainly Spice Up Some Talks

Actor Alan Alda watched researchers play an imaginary game of tug-of-war as part of his communicating science course at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, reports The Scientist. That is just one of the drama studies techniques Alda is applying to teach scientists to be better communicators — it helps to get researchers to show more emotion and be less self-conscious as they speak about their work. "The affect, facial expression body language — these are things that you wouldn't think are part of a scientific presentation," Alda says. "Emotion is so important. In scientific communication emotion is probably trained out of us, but there's no reason why it can't be included. Science is a great detective story, especially when you're talking to the public. You want them to get involved in this interesting, emotional tangle."