CRC - Bone Mechanics Handbook

Organization: CRC
Publication Date: 15 March 2001
Page Count: 981


The progress in bone mechanics in the last decade has been extraordinary. CRC Press published my previous edited book on this subject in 1989. It was entitled Bone Mechanics and it was a snapshot of the subject in the summer of 1988. The present book is a snapshot of the subject sometime in early 2000. The difference between these volumes reflects the extraordinary progress made in that decade between the publication of the two volumes. The first book covered the field in 12 chapters by 13 authors. This volume contains 36 chapters by 47 authors. The field has expanded in the number of people involved and in content. The flow of bone fluid, techniques to measure skeletal gene function and expression, bone transgenic effects, the mechanical testing of bone cells, and the design and manufacture of bone replacement scaffolds were not subjects mentioned in the 1989 volume. I believe that this decade and the next will be viewed as the decades of the most rapid accumulation of knowledge in bone mechanics research.

In the preparation of the current volume, I was struck not only by how much the field of bone mechanics had developed in the decade, but also by how many women are now working in the field. There was one woman among the 13 authors of the previous volume (7%), whereas there are 10 women authors among the 47 authors of this volume (21%), a factor of three increase. This outcome is not the result of a bias in favor of women. This volume represents a great deal of work by a number of different people, but these women carried more than a 21% share. Although they represented only a fifth of the authors, the women provided critical help at many stages. In particular, I very much appreciate the extra effort of Adele Boskey and my colleague Susannah Fritton in reviewing chapters. Further, I am deeply indebted to Catherine Ford, Eliana Lucchinetti, and Marta Villarraga for taking over development of chapters on not previously surveyed topics.

An editor learns the variety of problems that a chapter author can encounter. For example, traditionally, scholars writing chapters for volumes such as these are given credit by their institution and encouraged in this endeavor. However, government research administrators in several European countries have changed this policy in recent years. In these countries, the career evaluation systems for scholars have downgraded the value of writing chapters of the type that appear in this volume and the scholar-author is given no credit for this activity. Publication credit in these countries is based on impact, a measure of the circulation and prestige of the journal in which a publication occurs. These governments should consider the consequences of such a policy.

I should note that, as editor, I have not forced a uniform viewpoint on the authors, and the reader may find occasional contradictory statements. For example, the reader will find that my chapter on Bone Fluid Poroelasticity and Sol Pollack's chapter on Streaming Potentials in Bone are not consistent on the question of the anatomical location of streaming potentials in bone. Sol Pollack and I hope that the reader will not be frustrated by this inconsistency, but rather view the presentations as two sides of an unsettled question. It would be rewarding if the reader were inspired to seek or provide a resolution for such questions.

It was a pleasure working with all authors of the chapters of this volume. I thank each of them for their contribution. I hope that the reader will find the information gathered by these authors to be both accessible and useful. I also hope that readers of this book may, if they are not doing so already, be stimulated to work in this fascinating field.