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SciCafe: The Science Behind Football

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


Scientist and author Ainissa Ramirez explores the science behind one of America’s favorite games. With a clear-eyed empirical approach—and an exuberant affection for the game—Ramirez will address topics sure to fascinate scientists and football fans alike, including concussions—and why, surprisingly, woodpeckers don’t get them—to how the risk aversion of primates is actually linked to decision-making in football coaches. 

Additional Resources: 

Listen to Ainissa's Story Collider tale of how she went from football newbie to writing a football book. 

Her radio interview offers surprising ideas on protecting football players.

Huffington Post articles on Why Don't Woodpeckers Get Concussions? and Are There Genetic Markers for Concussions?  

A talk at the MIT Sports Analytics Conference on Newton’s Football: The Stealthy Science of the NFL

An educational approach to Using Football Science to Tackle STEM Education for Edutopia

She also has fun kid videos on the physics behind the prolate spheroid (i.e. football) and the helmet.