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Edited by Paul T McCabe. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2004, $69.95, pp 567. ISBN 0-8493-2342-8
Contemporary ergonomics is the series title for the proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Ergonomics Society in the UK. This issue is therefore that from the 2004 conference held in April 2004. It consists of short papers, limited to five pages per entry, of presentations made at the conference.
The jacket suggests that, as well as being of interest to mainstream ergonomists and human factors specialists, the book will appeal to all those who are concerned with people’s interactions with their working and leisure environment.
Although UK based, delegates to the conference come from all corners of the globe and, like its predecessors, this text provides a truly international insight into the breadth of issues addressed by ergonomists worldwide, with over 100 short papers. Some are authored by eminent researchers in the field giving early information of their current work. Others are less familiar names, possibly reporting student projects that will not be published elsewhere.
The limitations imposed by the page restrictions means that this is not a source of detailed, in-depth knowledge on established ergonomics issues (suitable for revising for an exam!). It does however give ergonomists working in one field, or indeed non-ergonomists of any persuasion an interesting glimpse of the breadth of the whole area of ergonomics, plus some insight into specific depths in some of the more specialised reports.
Its main value is probably as a springboard for more detailed enquiry, using it to find who is working in a particular field of interest rather than providing answers in itself. Probably one better dipped into than read from cover to cover.
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