05/31/2012 05:01 pm ET

Alan Alda Talks Science With Stephen Colbert (VIDEO)

Actor, writer, director and "science guy" Alan Alda discussed his "flame challenge" with Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report last night.

Alda has challenged scientists to explain a flame to an eleven year old, with a 6,000 eleven-year-olds worldwide serving as judges for the best explanation. He told Stephen he was very encouraged to see that the young judges were more impressed by entries they could "learn from," as opposed to those they found entertaining.

Alda is best known for his role as Hawkeye Pierce on M*A*S*H. He also hosted the PBS series Scientific American Frontiers for eleven years, and has helped to organize the World Science Festival, currently running in New York City.