Talking about Science

Not about science in general but about Science Magazine, one of the high-impact, general purpose scientific journals. My notion of science is “When you do bad science you are not getting into Science. If you are doing great science, you are probably still not getting into Science.

However, I have submitted a research article manuscript to Science magazine yesterday and I would like to take you on the journey with me.

In preparation of the submission we had of course first write a manuscript which required substantial research. Sciene is one of the peculiar scientific journals, which prefer MS Word documents but still let you submit a pdf in case you worked in another typesetter such as LaTeX, which we did.

Due to the broadness of the scope of science it was no easy task to identify a suitable editor and I am still not sure if we will be assigned to the one we chose. We had looked at editorials and selected the editor who covered articles most closely related to our work. Also before submitting we settled on a list of suitable, high profile potential reviews which we gave provided during the submission process.

Interestingly, for the affiliation Ringrose Identifieres or Grid IDs for our institutions were asked and TU Munich is not too well equipped with them. However, the manuscript is submitted since yesterday and will go – unlike most other journals – through an editorial reviewing process first before, if passed, being sent to reviewers.

And for those who are actually interested in the science behind our article, the main points as given to the reviewer are:

  • Human walking constitutes a rather unique type of legged locomotion which comes with its particular sets of challenges: maintaining controllability, recirculating the heavy leg sufficiently fast for the subsequent step, and at the same time, as many kinds of biological gaits, ensuring efficient, sustainable roaming.
  • We have developed a model which is able to explain the foot’s fundamental function, and which ties the widely observed global dynamics of walking to the challenges mentioned above. In comparison to previous models, our model takes only active forces into account and thus explains the role of constraints (such as the ground reaction force) rather than considering them as dynamic drivers.
  • The analysis of experimental data confirms that the rather unusual segmental configuration of the human leg addresses the specific challenges of human walking by providing the structural element that is required to achieve the necessary dynamic coupling in order to address the specific challenges of this gait, while also ensuring the required oscillatory mode separation, which makes walking feasible.
  • In effect, we can demonstrate that the human foot functions as a variable lever tuning the interaction of the two main oscillatory modes of the leg, such that walking becomes controllable, effortless and efficient

As soon as there are news I will post them here.