Humanity’s greatest innovations
start by studying the wild.
Our first understanding of medicine
came from watching the changes in eating habits
of sick or injured birds.

This continues today,
like how fish influence automobile aerodynamics,
or how the idea for Velcro came from burs on a dog
or the way bees taught the beauty industry
how to build an empire using, almost exclusively, bulimia.

32 thoughts on “biomimetics

  1. Thought provoking stuff. Heard this morning that scientists are very excited to discover how snakes slide because they may be able to develop friction-proof paints … makes you wonder if any science is NOT commercially motivated.

    • I think it’s the other way round. First the science. That tells us something new about the world. Most times, it tells something useful. If we can make use of that useful information, so much the better, From bat’s echolocation to sonar to radar; from mountain goats (donkeys, really) to four-legged robots that don’t slip on ice…

      PS: A frictionless surface would make for a really fast ship. They’ve got a surface already, independent of snakeskin (but it wouldn’t surprise if it turned out to have the same principles).

      • I take the point. Nothing wrong with learning from nature, of course, but I worry that science sponsored by business won’t be neutral or aimed at areas of public need …

  2. Sometimes, the simpler things, take longer time to digest…like the difficult path of something as simple as a toothpick…

  3. Hilarious, thoughtful, wise, macabre, sick-and-twisted. . . You are my idol! Or something like that. . . .you inspire me to try to be more daring, creative, make the unexpected connection….etc.

  4. I’m a bit rankled cos I am a biomimeticist who has been writing alot of poetry for some months now yet it did not occur to me to write this poem which is Grrreat like a swirl in the pool when a hippo farts, it gives off green gas!

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