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Ainissa Ramirez and the Science Behind America's Game

Chion Wolf
Dr. Ainissa Ramirez
Credit Parker Knight, Creative Commons

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about the epidemic of injury in the game of football - concussions and traumatic brain injuries… but have you ever asked yourself why football helmets are designed the way they are? And how better helmet design might actually have made the game more dangerous? And while you’re at it, have you considered “the divine randomness of prolate spheroid?” That’s science talk for the unlikely evolution for the shape of the football.  

This hour, we tackle the game, and the science behind it, with science evangelist Dr. Ainissa Ramirez. She has a new book out called Newton’s Football: The Science Behind America’s Game.  And we’ll look ahead to the Winter Olympics. We’ll talk to an Ithaca College professor who looks into the biomechanics of figure skating.


  • Ainissa Ramirez, Science evangelist, former Yale engineering professor, author of TED book Save Our Science and Newton's Football: The Science Behind America's Game. 
  • Deborah King, Associate Professor at the Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences at Ithaca College

  This program originally aired on October 14, 2013. 

Tucker Ives is WNPR's morning news producer.
Catie Talarski is Senior Director of Storytelling and Radio Programming at Connecticut Public.

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