Science Cafe: The Physical Fitness of Leaves
Evolution may be subtle, patient and exuberantly creative. But it can't do much about the physical world of air, water, gravity, and so forth. Every creature faces these conditions, whether it's a tree or one of us. Join us for a look at how a leaf manages its world, and what this tells us about how we manage — or ought to manage — our own. There will be a “Life of a Leaf” book signing held after the Café program.
About our Speaker
Steven Vogel recently retired from the Duke faculty where he served for 40 years. His work explores the ways in which animals and plants deal with the immediate physical world, in particular with its mechanical aspects. Vogel has researched flight in insects, self-ventilating rodent burrows and water-processing sponges, the thermal behavior of leaves in nearly still air and their mechanical behavior in potentially destructive winds, and the ballistics of the tiniest projectiles. He has also written articles for popular magazines and produced textbooks on biomechanics and less academic books about places where biology meets history, scientific literacy and culture.