Wednesday, September 26, 2012

2012 Winton Prize - The best of popular science writing

The Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books is the leading award for popular science writing. Books shortlisted for the award are accessible, interesting and compelling accounts of the world around us or inside us. This prestigious prize is open to authors of science books written for a non-specialist audience.

Here are the six contending titles on the 2012 shortlist:

The Viral Storm: the dawn of a new pandemic age (M)
by Nathan Wolfe

The judges said: “The Viral Storm is a fascinating look at our relationship with viruses.  It will terrify some readers and reassure others.  Wolfe’s passion for exploring and explaining draw you into the world of the virus and may make you reassess our relationship with that world."

The Better Angels of Our Nature: why violence has declined (M)
by Steven Pinker

The judges said: “The Better Angels of our Nature pushes the boundaries of the science book in a refreshing way. Pinker takes an intriguing idea and attempts to scrutinise it in a scientific manner – it is a bold intellectual endeavour and at the same time a great read.”

The Hidden Reality: parallel universes and the deep laws of the cosmos (M)
by Brian Greene

The judges said: “Multiverses and quantum measurement are not easy subjects but Greene sets about giving insight through metaphor in a very enjoyable way. The Hidden Reality is a beautiful manifesto for exploring the outer reaches of scientific enquiry. You will not understand everything but you will enjoy trying.”

The Information: a history, a theory, a flood (M)
by James Gleick

The judges said: “The Information is an audacious book and offers remarkable insight. Gleick takes us, with verve and fizz, on a journey from African drums to computers, liberally sprinkling delightful factoids along the way. This is a book we need to give us a fresh perspective on how we communicate and how that shapes our world."

My Beautiful Genome: exposing our genetic future, one quirk at a time (M)
by Lone Frank

The judges said: “My Beautiful Genome puts a personal story at the heart of the science. To some extent we are all narcissists and we want to learn more about ourselves, Frank provides us with an insight into how our genes help to define us. She keeps you wanting to read more.”

Moonwalking with Einstein: the art and science of remembering everything (M)
by Joshua Foer

The judges said: “Moonwalking with Einstein is a real page turner that tells a wonderful story – you are compelled to get to the end to find out what happens and the story bounces along with a jaunty air. Foer has a very down to earth style and in the true spirit of the scientist conducts his experiment with himself as the ‘test particle’.”

No comments:

Post a Comment