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The Limits of Human Performance

Join Olympic Gold medallist Jonathan Edwards and other experts to explore the impact of science on the success of athletes.

Performances in the world of sport continue to improve and astound. Records previously thought to be unbeatable are broken and new milestones are reached. What is the science behind these elite sporting performances and what are the natural limits of human athletic performance? Does the use of technology create an inequality between athletes? The panel will explore how, from the design of the latest composite carbon- fibre racing bikes, to the assessment of swimmers’ stroke velocity and the monitoring of extreme physical performance, science, technology and engineering have a critical role to play in assisting athletes’ participation, and success, in the world’s greatest sports event: the Olympic Games.

Greg Whyte (Director of Science and Research at the English Institute of Sport) will give an overview of human performance throughout history. Craig Sharp (Professor of Sports Science at Brunel University) will outline the physiological limits of human achievement by looking at the differences between humans and animals. Claire Davis (School of Engineering, University of Birmingham) will talk about the impact of the advancements in sports equipment technology. David Cowan (Director of the Drug Control Centre at King’s College London) will discuss the effect of advancements in drug testing technology on athletes’ pursuits of excellence. Olympic Gold medallist, Jonathan Edwards, will join the panel to answer questions from the audience.


Jonathan Edwards | talks
Prof David Cowan | talks
Dr Claire Davis | talks | www
Prof Craig Sharp | talks
Dr Greg Whyte | talks


Date and Time:

20 May 2004 at 7:00 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



The Royal Institution of Great Britain
21 Albemarle Street
+44 20 74 09 29 92

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£8 (£5 Ri Members & concs)

Available from:

online at www.rigb.org or call the 24hr booking line on 020 7670 2985

Additional Information:

This event is in partnership with the Engineering and Technology Board (etb) and Nesta.

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