E. Paul Zehr
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E. Paul Zehr (born June 16, 1968) is a Canadian professor of kinesiology and neuroscience, and an award-winning science communicator at the University of Victoria, in British Columbia, Canada. He is well known for his work in the neural control of human locomotion—particularly how the arms and legs interact during walking[1] and neural plasticity associated with exercise training and rehabilitation. Zehr is best known to the general public as the author of the popular science books Becoming Batman: The Possibility of a Superhero (2008), Inventing Iron Man: The Possibility of a Human Machine (2011), Project Superhero (2014), and Chasing Captain America (2018).
E. Paul Zehr
Becoming Batman
Becoming Batman addresses the scientific feasibility of a human being ever achieving peak of performance embodied by the Caped Crusader, and is essentially a guide for understanding how the human body works and responds to exercise.[2][3][4][5] Zehr, a long-time reader of comic books, drew on the combined expertise gained in undergraduate (BPE, McMaster University) and graduate (MSc) training in kinesiology with his knowledge of neuroscience (PhD; University of Alberta) and his more than 25 years of personal experience in martial arts. A main point of Zehr's book is that despite all the technology and gadgetry, there is a real person inside the batsuit who needs extreme training. Zehr often points out that this training includes not just Batman's muscles but also his bones.[3][4]
Inventing Iron Man
Inventing Iron Man examines the Marvel superhero as a biological control problem. The book explores what it would mean to the human body, and the nervous system particularly, to use an integrated exoskeleton like the Iron Man suit of armor. Inventing Iron Man explores deeply the concept of brain-machine interface and develops the thesis that such an exoskeleton could only work if it were connected directly to the brain of the user. A main focus are the changes that would occur in the nervous system (neural plasticity) as a result of prolonged use of such a comprehensive neuroprosthetic.
Project Superhero
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Project Superhero follows Jessie, a 13-year-old girl, and her diary as she documents a year-long school project called the Superhero Slam. Unlike his previous books, Zehr wrote Project Superhero with a middle school aged audience in mind, aiming specifically at girls. Where he previously used superheroes as a means for relaying scientific research and queries surrounding human physiology, he wanted to look at what "superheroes represent in our culture as seen through Jessie's eyes".[6] Zehr interviewed real life heroes that provide Jessie with expert advice, including: Mike Bruen, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Clara Hughes, Bryan Q. Miller, Christie Nicholson, Yuriko Romer, Nicole Stott, Jessica Watson, and Hayley Wickenheiser.
Illustrations were provided by Kris Pearn, known for work such as Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
In 2015, Project Superhero was awarded a silver medal in Juvenile Fiction by the IPPY Awards.
Awards
Popular science writing
Blogs
Guest Blogs
Editorials and freelance
References
  1. ^ "NPR: Neural research links legs, arms". Vancouver Sun. February 20, 2007. Retrieved September 15, 2009.
  2. ^ "NPR: Dark Knight Shift: Why Batman Could Exist--But Not for Long". Scientific American. July 14, 2009. Retrieved September 15, 2009.
  3. ^ a b "NPR: CBC Quirks & Quarks interview with Bob MacDonald". CBC Radio. December 20, 2008. Archived from the original (mp3 & ogg media) on December 24, 2008. Retrieved September 15, 2009.
  4. ^ a b "NPR: Inquiry: E. Paul Zehr : Becoming Batman: The Possibility of a Superhero". WICN public radio. September 14, 2009. Archived from the original (mp3) on April 28, 2009. Retrieved September 15, 2009.
  5. ^ "NPR: Holy Research Batman! What I did in Superhero school". Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. January 2, 2009. Retrieved September 15, 2009.
  6. ^ "NPR: E.Paul Zehr: Why We Need Superheroes". 49th Shelf. September 18, 2014. Retrieved June 24, 2015.
External links
Last edited on 30 March 2021, at 05:05
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