Alan Alda, a six-time Emmy Award–winner, played Hawkeye Pierce on the classic television series, M*A*S*H, and, more recently, appeared in continuing roles on ER, The West Wing, and 30 Rock. Altogether, he has been nominated for the Emmy 33 times - as actor, writer, and director. In 1994, he was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame. He has starred in, as well as written and directed, many films, and has appeared often on the Broadway stage, where he received three Tony nominations.

His long-time interest in science and in promoting a greater public understanding of science led to his hosting the award-winning PBS series Scientific American Frontiers for eleven years, on which he interviewed hundreds of scientists from around the world. In January 2010, he hosted a new science series on PBS called The Human Spark. On Broadway, he appeared as the physicist Richard Feynman in the play QED. In 2002, he had the honor of giving the commencement talk at Caltech, where Feynman himself had delivered the commencement address 28 years earlier. In 2006, for his efforts in helping to broaden the public's understanding of science, he was presented with the United States National Science Board’s Public Service Award.

Since 2008, he has worked with physicist Brian Greene in presenting the annual World Science Festival in New York City, last year attended by 183,000 people.