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29 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 19 June 2009

In Science in Action, Jon Stewart investigates the impact of cutting edge science on sporting success. Do engineering advances in sport threaten fair play? What can neuroscience tell us about sporting success? And, could being ambidextrous help you to win Wimbledon?

Jon interviewed Dr David James, the Royal Academy of Engineering’s first Fellow of Public Engagement in Science about his work. In his work at Sheffield Hallam University he looks at the application of technology to sport and his is now looking at the ethics of engineering athletic performance.

Jon also talked to Dr David Shearer about his work as a sports psychologist using the techniques of neuroscience to improve sporting performance.

Jon visited Stanford University where they have developing a ‘cooling glove’. This is a device which helps to lower quickly core body temperature and so improve recovery times for athletes.

Jon also interviewed Michael J Lavery, a sports coach who trains athletes to be ambidextrous. His theory is that using both hands gives sports people a mechanical advantage but also ‘rewires’ the brain so that the hemispheres of the brain work together. Michael Lavery’s theories about ‘whole brain training’ have yet to be proven by independent scientific study.


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