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The science behind the cape
Date:3/8/2011

ke of The Dark Knight, the blockbuster movie which recounts Batman and his arch-enemy, the Joker.

With the casting almost complete for the sequel, The Dark Knight Rises, Dr. Zehr writes about his experiences connecting science to popular culture, which is captured in the Advances, article, "A Personal View: From Claude Bernard to the Batcave and Beyond: Using Batman as a hook for physiology education."

Batman: A Catalyst for Understanding Science

In the article, Zehr writes that far more Americans are aware of Bruce Wayne, the man behind the Batman mask, than Claude Bernard, a 19th century French physiologist who first established the use of the scientific method in medicine. Dr. Zehr certainly knew of Bernard, because for over 17 years he has published more than 70 scientific paper and hundreds of abstracts associated with his research into physiology and the science of body motion.

While Bernard used the tools of his day to explain science, Zehr says that Becoming Batman was the catalyst to adopting a new approach to his research efforts in neuroscience and human neurophysiology. The science of Batman is hardly, "silly science," as some might suggest, because the physiology behind Batman is the physiology of us all.

"The more that people understand science, and the physiology of things in particular, the better for everyone," says Zehr. To that end, he has written a second book in this genre, Inventing Iron Man: The Possibility of a Human Machine, to be published later this year. Will he use a cyborg -- like the one best represented by Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (T2) to explain science? The author, like Batman smiles enigmatically and says, "You will have to wait and see."


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Contact: Donna Krupa
dkrupa@the-aps.org
301-634-7209
American Physiological Society
Source:Eurekalert  

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