Prof. Steven Vogel of Duke University is a founding father of the field of biomechanics. Dr. Vogel and I talk about what it means to be a biologists, why people do and are interested in research, and what it was like to be a fresh-faced biologist in the 1960s compared to today. During his career he’s studied the physical properties and functional ecology or everything from plants to prairie dogs. His many books include the textbook Comparative Biomechanics: life’s physical world, and several popular science books including Cats’ Paws and Catapults: Mechanical Worlds of Nature and People, and his latest book The life of a Leaf.
In the picture above, Prof. Vogel is showing me a small sample of the mechanical teaching aids he’s built over the years.