The editors of and authors of this book are a cadre of scientists and physicians with broad experience and knowledge of diving physiology and decompression theory. As is often the case, it requires a group effort to succeed in advancing practical knowledge. The colloquialism "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts" is often true and the PHYPODE Reasearch Group epitomizes this concept. By logically grouping the various elements of diving science and medicine with provocative "food for thought" sections, the text offers valuable lessons to those interested in the current state of diving. Despite nearly 170 years of reasearch, the fundamenal nature of decompression stress remains elusive. As is well outlined in this book, great advances have been made to the practical elements allowing for safe diving. Nonetheless, there are glaring voids of knowledge related to the nature of bubble nucleation, its consequences and methods to ameliorate risk. The synergy exhibited in this text not only provides a foundation for what is known, it offers a glimpse of where research is taking us.
- Professor Stephen R. Thom, Dept. of Emergency Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine