21 lessons learned in 2021:
by Sahil Bloom was fantastic. Full of easily digestible, actionable lessons, each with a short explanation and mini visualisation.
Read your work out loud:
When proof reading your work, do you read it out loud or in your head? This excellent thread
by Nicolas Cole argues that you should read it out loud. He even goes as far as to say that “Reading your writing out loud is the most important part of becoming a great writer”. It’s difficult to argue with some of the points made, and definitely worth giving it a go if you don’t already.
Randomised controlled trials of parachute use?
Yes, you read that correctly. Before I get into the journal articles, I thought I’d start with a more humerous one. I’d been meaning to read this
for a while, and it didn’t disappoint. When should we make decisions on the use of a particular intervention based on observational data and when should we require randomised controlled trials? I enjoyed the way this was presented, particularly the tongue-in-cheek suggestion that the most radical protagonists of evidence based medicine should participate “in a double blind, randomised, placebo controlled, crossover trial of the parachute”.
Award winning papers: Sports Biomechanics
recently published review articles from the last two winners of the ISBS Hans Gros Emerging Researcher Award. 2020 winner, Gillian Weir, reviewed
biomechanically informed approaches to ACL injury prevention in sport. Her award lecture on this topic can be seen here
. 2021 winner, Gregory Tierney, reviewed
the literature around concussion biomechanics in sport.
Average models produce non-average results:
Simulation models using average input parameters from a population are often used to investigate particular research questions with regards to that population of interest. But do these average inputs actually produce results that are representative of the population average output? This study
put that to the test, reporting that average models did not produce average results. The authors called this the “Generic Modeling Fallacy”, providing detailed explanations and examples.
Sample size justifications:
The journal Gait & Posture
recently introduced a requirement for sample size justification within their author guidelines. But what difference did it make? This article
compares studies conducted before and after the change in guidelines, presenting a detailed analysis of the types of justification used (if any).
Historical women in mechanics:
An important one to finish on. Two posts on Twitter caught my attention recently, both about historical women I had never heard of in mechanics. The first
was Émilie du Châtelet, who not only translated the work of Sir Isaac Newton but added clarity, examples, derivatives, and even an original conservation law for total energy that emphasised the role of kinetic energy. The second was E.A. Kotikova, possibly the first ever sports biomechanist. This short thread
on her contributions is well worth a read. Thank you to PJ Vazel for raising awareness.