National Biomechanics Day is pushing a big idea: Biomechanics will be the breakthrough science of the 21st century. One might ask, is this possible? I think it is a distinct possibility due to several co-existing phenomena. First, Biomechanics is truly phenomenal because its scientific contributions are numerous and substantial. Biomechanists create our understanding of biology in the physical world, the physical nature of life. One could reasonably argue there is not a more valuable scientific endeavor. Second and despite this positive state-of-the-science, Biomechanics remains relatively unknown in the general population. Few people know the word Biomechanics and Biomechanics is rarely included in any list of scientific realms. The proverbial, "person on the street," would not understand someone describing him or herself as a Biomechanist. In fact and amusingly, Biomechanics and Biomechanist are the only words in this essay not recognized by the spell-checker. Third, Biomechanics is beginning to appear in the non-science world. For example, young people know a bit about motion capture being the basis of video games. Biomechanical images are briefly seen in television commercials. The show, "Sport Science," on ESPN highlights biomechanical analyses of athletic movements. Olympic broadcasts ever so infrequently show a multiple image analysis of diving or jumping as Biomechanists often do in the lab. In short, Biomechanics is on the edge of society's consciousness and Biomechanics’ greatness can propel it past this threshold and onto a truly meaningful, valuable, and broadly appreciated position of scientific importance, relevance, and substance. The incredible contributions Biomechanics makes to the human condition will be widely recognized and prized. National Biomechanics Day celebrates the 21st century's breakthrough science with energy, verve, and joy. We are excited about the future.
See you then and there.