STONY BROOK, N.Y. – Among the procedures Army surgeon Hawkeye Pierce performed on “M.A.S.H.” was an end-to-end anastomosis.

Most of the viewers, actor Alan Alda concedes, had no idea he was talking about removing a damaged piece of intestine and reconnecting the healthy pieces.

Today, the award-winning film and television star is on a mission to teach physicians and scientists to ditch the jargon and get their points across in clear, simple language.

The former host of the long-running PBS series “Scientific American Frontiers” is a founder and visiting professor of journalism at the Stony Brook University Center for Communicating Science, which has just been named in his honor.

“There’s no reason for the jargon when you’re trying to communicate the essence of the science to the public because you’re talking what amounts to gibberish to them,” Alda said.

A better understanding of science, he said, can benefit society in many ways. Physicians should more clearly explain treatments to patients. Consumers could decipher what chemicals are in their food. Lawmakers can make better decisions on funding scientific research.

“They’re not going to ask the right questions if science doesn’t explain to them what’s going on in the most honest and objective way,” said Alda, 77. “You can’t blame them for not knowing the jargon – it’s not their job. Why would anybody put up money for something they don’t understand?”

Weir’s tumble leads Furthur to cancel show

NEW YORK – Furthur is canceling a tour date after guitarist Bob Weir fell onstage at a concert last week in Port Chester, N.Y.

Weir said on his website Tuesday that the Grateful Dead offshoot is “unable to perform for the next several weeks … due to unforeseen circumstances.” They were scheduled to play May 9 in Napa, Calif.

The statement adds that the 65-year-old Weir plans to hit the road in late June for solo shows.

Weir formed Furthur with fellow Grateful Dead member Phil Lesh.

Furthur’s summer tour kicks off July 11 in Brooklyn, N.Y.