Did You Know? – From the Archives – July 2010

Posted on July 14, 2010

The ISB was formed in 1973, and the following year the society started producing a newsletter.  In the past the newsletter was mailed out to society members, although recently the newsletter has been delivered electronically.  The sterling work in the production of the newsletter comes from its editor.  There have been eight society members who have stepped forward to undertake this valuable duty to the society.  The newsletter editors are,

1974-1978     Doris Miller  (USA)
1979-1982     Keith C. Hayes  (Canada)
1982-1989     Jan P. Clarys  (Belgium)  assisted by Jan Cabri
1989-1996     Graeme A. Wood  (Australia)
1996-2001     Mark D. Grabiner  (USA)
2001-2003     Brian Davis  (USA)
2003-2009     Karen Søgaard  (Denmark)
2009-to date  Darren Stefanyshyn  (Canada) 

There have been 111 issues of the ISB Newsletter, so far.  Each editor has brought their own personal style to these newsletters.  The newsletters are full of interesting nuggets, for example the thesis abstract corner.  In volume 24 published in the autumn of 1986 there appears the abstracts of the Ph.D. theses are two future presidents of the society - Mary Rodgers (2003-2005) and Walter Herzog (2007-2009).

In volume 18 published in the spring of 1985 there was a “Special article” by Robert Norman “Biomechanics: Are there substantive issues?”.  Bob was our President from 1989 to 1991.  In this article a respected scientist lists three “substantive issues” for our discipline.  If you read this piece you will see these issues still remain.

Starting in 1994 and ending in 1995 the newsletter featured a column titled “Birdy’s Corner”, where basic data processing protocols were addressed.  The covered topics included the mean and median (volume 56), least squares fitting (volume 57), data normalization (volume 59), robust data analysis (volume 60), and finite and infinite impulse response filters (volume 65).  These were fascinating reads, for which the author described the intent to be to make “the material both readable and useful to the ISB membership as a whole”.  Virgil Stokes was the “birdy” who produced this column.

For a different type of intellectual stimulation, there have been occasional puzzles, for example in volume 85 from Praveen Solomon and Brian Davis, and a series from Lutz Bauer (volumes 89, 91, and 94).

This flavor of the contents of old newsletters should encourage you to peruse these old newsletters.  If you are not a member of longstanding, or are not a hoarder, then PDF scans of our newsletters will soon be available on the ISB web-site.

John Challis
ISB Archivist

[The ISB has an archive of its important materials, kept at Penn State University.  If you have any materials you think should be in the archive, and you would consider donating them to the archive please contact John Challis (]

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