Alan Alda asks scientists to explain: What's time?

The actor is sponsoring a contest asking scientists to explain, in terms a sixth-grader could understand: "What is time?"

MINEOLA, N.Y. — Professor Alan Alda has a homework assignment for scientists. Yes, that Alan Alda.

The actor known for his Emmy Award-winning work on the TV show "M.A.S.H.," is a founder of the Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University on eastern Long Island.

Alda tells The Associated Press the center is sponsoring a contest asking scientists to explain, in terms a sixth-grader could understand: "What is time?"

Well-known for his affinity for science, Alda is the longtime host of PBS's "Scientific American Frontiers."

He says society must have a better understanding of science.

This is the contest's second year. Last year, scientists were asked to explain what a flame is. Alda says he was 11 years old when he asked a teacher that question and got an answer he didn't understand.

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