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Edited by C A Williams, D V B James. Philadelphia: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, 2001, £17.99, pp 176. ISBN 0 419 25170 7
The basic scientific principles and working techniques relevant for science in the field of exercise physiology and exercise and sport sciences are described in this book. It is written for undergraduate students with minor or no experience and knowledge in science.
The book is divided into three sections. The first section covers the physical states of gas, liquid, and solid. The second explains forces, energy, and electricity. The third addresses data analysis and report writing. Each chapter starts with a list of learning objectives, a short introduction which highlights the relevance for sports and exercise. So called “action points” enable the reader to check the learning success. A conclusion briefly summarises the take away message, and “key points” condense the latter to its essence. Each chapter is completed with a list of references, but also examples of additional recommended literature for further reading.
In general, the structure of the book is systematic, consistent, and in principle helpful, and the content covers a thorough portfolio of knowledge which is relevant for a successful start in experimental sport and exercise science. Nevertheless, it remains rather doubtful whether the book would really attract the attention of the targeted readership. It is much too text dominated. This weakens the impact of adequate wording and the provided examples of application and scientific transfer. Most of the figures and flow charts are of poor quality. It also remains questionable whether detailed descriptions of the personal computer, software, and the internet are really necessary nowadays. In general, the layout of the book appears somewhat deterrent compared with modern text books.
In conclusion, this book is well structured with mostly convincing content but a rather suboptimal layout. After thorough revision of the layout and minor aspects of content, it has the potential to improve from one of many more or less adequate handbooks to a very good tool which not only meets the requirements with respect to learning objectives but also to an adequate presentation to the targeted readership.
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