As an 11-year-old, future actor Alan Alda asked his teacher a burning question: "What is a flame?" He found the response he received — "It's oxidation" — unsatisfying, the Huffington Post reports. Sixty-five years later, Alda sees science plagued by the same failure to communicate clearly, with serious implications.

"We feel the disconnect all around us, from a common misimpression that evolution is the theory that we're descended from monkeys, to the worry that physicists in Geneva might suck the universe into a tea cup — or something uncomfortably smaller," Alda writes, referring to unsubstantiated fears the Large Hadron...

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