Posted on Jul 11, 2018
Paul Zehr is a Canadian professor of kinesiology and neuroscience, and an award-winning science communicator at the University of Victoria.  Paul has spoken with many organizations and many groups over the years but this was his first Rotary Club.  As his Dad was a Rotarian he was very pleased to be with us.
Growing up, Paul's mom would buy him comic books because she believed any reading was good reading.  Paul got into comic books, found a love for martial arts out of those comic books and then got into superheros.  It fascinated Paul to see what human potential was physically and mentally.   He saw first hand real human beings training for 40-60 years in a marital art and still being spry and fit in their 80s.  Academically, he got into kinesiology and neuroscience to help connect how that potential and the brain/body really interact on a scientific level. 
He got into writing books after hearing a silly sales pitch on a late night show for a random piece of exercise equipment if you sent in your 4 installments of $29.99 right away.  Paul couldn't believe people fell for this stuff but realized that many people just don't understand how their bodies work and wanted to figure out a way to increase that knowledge without it being dry and scientific.  The topic had to be accessible and interesting.  He wanted popular culture to help.... so, he wrote his first book on becoming Batman.  
To date, he's written four books, including the Becoming Batman book, then a youth book on Batgirl and an inventory of Ironman, which shows how technology could be used to help biology and recently just published Captain America talking about gene editing and stem cell research to make a new human species.  He has seen first hand talking to many schools how engaging people, especially kids, using superheros as an approach makes a world of difference. 
Personally, Paul experienced a major car accident in 2014 and ended up with major health problems and a brain injury and eventually had to use all of his understanding and approaches for how to overcome obstacles with his own human body using the parables and themes often told in comic books.