From left to right: APA President Jeffrey Lieberman, M.D., is chair of psychiatry at Columbia University; Erick Kandel, M.D., received the Nobel Prize in 2000 for discoveries concerning signal transduction in the nervous system; and film and television star Alan Alda hosted the award-winning PBS series “Scientific American Frontiers” for 11 years.
Three stars of science, psychiatry, and entertainment will meet for a special “Dialogue on Science, Psychiatry, and the Media” immediately following the Opening Session at APA’s 2014 annual meeting in New York City.
Nobel Prize–winning researcher Eric Kandel, M.D., and actor Alan Alda will join APA President Jeffrey Lieberman, M.D., to talk about the impact of science and the media on psychiatry and how they will influence the future of mental health care.
The Opening Session and dialogue will take place on Sunday, May 4, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. in Hall E, Level 3, of the Javits Convention Center.
Kandel is the only American psychiatrist to have received the Nobel Prize, which he did in 2000 for his discoveries concerning the cell and molecular mechanisms of learning and memory. He has been a frequent lecturer at APA annual meetings on such topics as how to simulate symptoms of mental illness in laboratory animals for the purposes of research and how neuroscience may inform the insights of psychoanalysis.
At this year’s annual meeting, in addition to the Opening Session dialogue, Kandel will be delivering the APA Distinguished Psychiatrist Lecture titled “New Findings in PTSD.” He is the University Professor and Kavli Professor of Brain Science in the departments of Neuroscience, Biochemistry, and Psychiatry at Columbia University; director of the Kavli Institute for Brain Science; co-director of the Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute; and senior investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Alda is a seven-time Emmy Award winner who played Hawkeye Pierce on the classic television series “M*A*S*H” and appeared in continuing roles on “ER,” “The West Wing,” and “30 Rock.” He has 33 Emmy nominations as an actor, writer, and director and is a Television Hall of Fame inductee. He has starred in, as well as written and directed, many films and was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in “The Aviator.”
Science and the stories of scientific discovery have long fascinated the actor. He hosted the award-winning PBS series “Scientific American Frontiers” for 11 years for which he interviewed hundreds of scientists from around the world. In 2010 he hosted a science series called “The Human Spark” and in 2013 hosted “Brains on Trial,” both on PBS.
In 2006, he was presented with the National Science Board’s Public Service Award for helping to inform the public about science and scientific processes. Since 2008, he has worked with physicist Brian Greene in presenting the annual World Science Festival in New York City, attended by almost a million people since its inception.
He is a visiting professor at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University, where he helps develop innovative programs that enable scientists to communicate more effectively with the public. Alda is also the author of the play “Radiance–the Passion of Marie Curie,” which had its world premiere at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles in November 2011. ■