Andover Educators

Bones: The Unity of Form and Function

By R. McNeill Alexander, Ph.D., D.Sc.
Department of Pure and Applied Biology at the University of Leeds, England.
Macmillan, 1994.

From the Forward by Mark Norell, “…basic engineering principles (force, stress, strain and tension), their mechanical solutions (hinges, joints, arches and trusses) and the characteristics of materials (hardness, flexibility, and the combinational qualities of composites and laminates) are just as relevant to the body of an organism as to the design of a racing sailboat. The correspondence is so great that one could easily imagine that the principles of structural architecture were discovered by careful observation of organisms by ancient engineers.” Recommended by Barbara Conable for Mapping the structure, function, and size of your own bones. And it’s beautiful.

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