Alan Alda on "brainy" new show and favorite M.A.S.H. episode

(CBS News) Alan Alda has done it all. He's stared in movies, television shows, on Broadway and is an accomplished author. The Renaissance man has many awards including six Emmy's to his name.

Alda has now turned his focus to science as the host of the PBS special "Brains on Trial." The two-part series airs on Wednesday and explores how neuroscience can affect criminal cases.

For the longest time, the brain was a big, dark mystery, but neuroscience has come such a long way and some scientists believe they can tell if people are lying by putting them in a functional MRI machine. However, others believe the technique is not ready to be used in court rooms.

"One of the things I found out doing the show is that there are a lot of very smart people in the justice system and in science collaborating and trying to figure out what's the best course to take, what's the most cautious course to take," said Alda on "CBS This Morning: Saturday." "So that it doesn't hurt justice, but in a way might make things more just all the way around."

Alda may be an actor, but his passion has been in the scientific field for over a decade. He founded the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University to train scientists in communication as well.

Professor Alan Alda teaches scientists how to speak

Alda is most well-known for his 11-year stint as the wise-cracking Dr. Hawkeye Piece on M.A.S.H. He told "CBS This Morning: Saturday" co-host Anthony Mason that his favorite episode of the series was one that included a gold jeep.

"There was one where we were playing a joke on the Frank Burns character and we painted a jeep gold. And Wayne Rogers and I said to each other, where did we get gold paint in Korea? This is ridiculous," explained Alda. "And anytime a story line came up that really didn't seem credible to us, we would look at each other and say 'gold jeep,' but it didn't always help to say that."

  • Shoshana Davis

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