March 18, 2010

Scientist’s Research Has Him Running Barefoot

by Heather Falconer

Anyone who uses creativity in their work — whether artist or scientist — has moments when they question their process. A mental wall is hit where it seems like nothing new or original could possibly come out of the effort put forth. This is as true for the seasoned professional as it is for the newbie and, in times like these, often the best thing to do is ask yourself: “What are other people doing?”

Asking yourself this question is not about setting yourself up to copy others. It’s about finding inspiration. Now, the journal Nature is helping educators, students, and professional researchers alike by offering up a series of  videos about the process of science. These short online videos are perfect for the classroom or coffee break, offering interviews with scientists of Nature articles about their research and process.

One interview we found particularly interesting is with Harvard professor David Lieberman, entitled The Barefoot Professor. In this interview, Dr. Lieberman discusses how he and his team decided to research the differences between running barefoot and running with shoes on. The results showed an important difference in foot-strike position (the way the foot hits the ground) and its effect on the body, which could potentially influence athletes of all skill levels and prevent injury.

Heather Falconer

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Heather Falconer holds undergraduate degrees in Graphic Arts and Environmental Science, as well as an MFA in Writing and an MLitt in Literature. She is currently completing her PhD in Rhetoric and Composition, with an emphasis on rhetoric in/and/of science. Heather has worked internationally in academic publishing as both an author and editor, and has taught a wide range of topics – from research writing to marine biology – in the public and private educational sectors.