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Health and wellness

Why Alan Alda’s Parkinson’s battle matters for the rest of us

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 05 August, 2018, 6:02am
UPDATED : Sunday, 05 August, 2018, 6:01am

I was saddened to learn that Alan Alda has Parkinson’s disease. I was also saddened that he felt it was necessary to discuss an issue that many may keep private because, as he said: “I thought, it’s probably only a matter of time before somebody does a story about this from a sad point of view, but that’s not where I am.”

In times of illness and passing, we should consider the theme of his message and concentrate on the positives in life.

Most will know Alda for his acting in M.A.S.H. as a brilliant, troublemaking doctor, although his role in The West Wing as a brilliant potential president is well worth watching. His real brilliance, however, is as a story teller and his contributions to science in this role at the Alan Alda Centre for Communicating Science.

Watch: Alan Alda is not letting disease slow him down

There are many that can tell a story well but few tell stories of importance so well. Science is better off because of him, as there is a need for clear communication in a world of fake news and fake science – climate change deniers and anti-vaccination falsehoods. Keep telling the world about science, as I and many others will keep listening.

Dennis Fitzgerald, Melbourne