What makes East African middle and long distance runners the best in the world? How should contemporary academia approach this question?
The success of East African distance runners has generated a plethora of studies but much of the 'evidence' presented to support hypotheses is anecdotal, arguments being led by non-academics who use popular media as their medium rather than relying on scientific publications. This has resulted in many stereotypical arguments being advocated.
Within the academic community, research has also been restricted by its isolation within either the natural science or social science communities. East African Running: Towards a Cross Disciplinary Perspective, presents a rare collaboration between researchers from the sports sciences and social sciences to explore the questions raised by the phenomena of East African success on the track. The text includes:
psycho-social and economic explanations
physiological and genetic explanations
attempts to provide unified theories bringing together ideas from natural and social sciences
Includes contributions from John Bale, Jim Denison, Timothy D. Noakes and Craig Sharp.