Badass Scientist of the Week: Mike Stroud
Mike Stroud (left) is a doctor, an explorer, and an expert in human nutrition and endurance. In 1986 he teamed up with Sir Ranulph Fiennes (no, not Voldemort) to attempt unsupported journeys to the North Pole. They later turned their attentions to the south, and from 1992–93, they completed a record-breaking crossing of Antarctica together—they walked from coast to coast. It took 93 days to cover 2250 km on foot, with no help from man, animal or machine, carrying their supplies up the Polar plateau and descending into one of the largest glacier systems in the world. Stroud experienced first-hand the limits that the body and mind can be pushed to, enduring some of the toughest conditions known to man, where temperatures can drop to a chilly minus 50, winds can reach 160 km per hour, and the body is forced to use 10,000 calories a day just to survive. The Arctic and Antarctic journeys raised more than £4 million for Multiple Sclerosis, and on his return, Stroud was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire). In the following years, he completed several expeditions and marathons—in the Sahara, Canada, Qatar—and in 2003, he teamed up with Fiennes again to complete seven full marathons on seven continents in seven days. Stroud has appeared as a medical expert on several BBC shows, is the author of two books, and was recently adviser to the Ministry of Defence on survival—but now he’s returned to practicing medicine fulltime.