David Mahoney Prize
Named for Harvard Mahoney Neuroscience Institute Co-founder David Mahoney, the prize honors individuals who have significantly increased public awareness about brain science and disorders of the nervous system. Mahoney, a business executive and neuroscience advocate, was passionate about to find treatments for diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and depression.
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The 2016 David Mahoney Symposium and Prize, held in New York City April 20, honored Emmy Award winner Alan Alda. Alda’s interest in science led to his hosting of the award-winning PBS series Scientific American Frontiers for 11 years, for which he interviewed hundreds of scientists. Also on PBS, he hosted “The Human Spark,” winning the 2010 Kavli Science Journalism Award, and “Brains on Trial” in 2013. On Broadway, he appeared as the physicist Richard Feynman in the play “QED.” He also authored the play, “Radiance: The Passion of Marie Curie.”
Alda has won the National Academy of Sciences Public Welfare Medal, the National Science Board’s Public Service Award, the Scientific American Lifetime Achievement Award, and the American Chemical Society Award for Public Service, among others. He was named a fellow of the American Physical Society for his work in helping scientists improve their communication skills. He is a member of the board of the World Science Festival and is a visiting professor at Stony Brook University’s Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, which has expanded its network of affiliate programs to 16 universities in the U.S. and Australia.
The evening's symposium featured a conversation between Alda and Nobel Laureate Eric R. Kandel, AB ’52, MD. It was moderated by Edward F. Rover, JD ’64, chairman and president of The Dana Foundation and member of the Harvard Mahoney Neuroscience Institute council.
The symposium was followed by a dinner that featured remarks from Steven E. Hyman, MD ’80, director of the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT.