How well do you know your sense of touch? UMW’s Sushma Subramanian explains it all in new bookMarch 20, 20212 min read
The University of Mary Washington’s Sushma Subramanian’s latest book, How to Feel: The Science and Meaning of Touch, is now available on bookstore shelves and online retailers across America.
The journalist, assistant professor and author was recently featured in Discover Magazine, where she shares her inspiration for the book and sits down to answer to serious questions about science and the need to touch.
Several years ago, Sushma Subramanian was procrastinating on her work when she noticed her desk was a bit wobbly. It was a rather mundane moment, she recalls, and one that’s only a vague memory now. But as she began to fiddle with the shaky tabletop, the science journalist found herself noting how the experience felt: the grain of the wood against her fingers, the pinching of her skin and the sensation of her muscles straining to lift the desk.
As Subramanian explains in her book, How to Feel: The Science and Meaning of Touch, it was a moment when she began to consider how little she knew about this multifaceted sense — “a capacity,” she writes, “that never shuts off.” The questions kept forming, eventually leading Subramanian, a professor of journalism at the University of Mary Washington, to write an article for Discover in 2015 about the development of tactile touch screens — which use haptic technology, such as vibrations in handheld devices.
In her latest work, she dives deeper into that world, but also explores the limits of our sense of touch and what makes it so versatile. Discover caught up with Subramanian to talk about touch in the age of COVID-19, the future of tactile research and how we experience the sense differently across personal and cultural barriers. March 08 - Discover Magazine
Her interview is also part of the attached article and is a very compelling read.
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Sushma Subramanian Assistant Professor
Subramanian is a journalist whose topics take her to the far reaches of the world.