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The shortlist for the 2012 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books is shown below with the judges' comments.
The winning book will be announced at a public event on 26 November 2012.
Published by Allen Lane (Penguin Books)
An exploration of human memory
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’.”
Download the first chapter of this book (PDF).
Published by Oneworld
A personal perspective on human genetics
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.”
Published by Fourth Estate
The story of information and how it is used, transmitted and stored
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.”
An examination of parallel universes and the laws of the cosmos
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.”
Downloard the first chapter of this book (PDF).
An assessment of the decline of violence in history and its causes
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.”
An exploration of the world of the virus
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.”
Most recent news for the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books.
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Royal Society Winton Prize for Science BooksCelebrates the best in popular science writing.
Royal Society Young People's Book PrizeCelebrates the best books that communicate science to young people.
All the medals, awards and prizes we make.
All the people who received an award in 2012.
The committees assess the award nominations.
How to make a nomination for a medal, award or prize.
The Royal Society awards two annual book prizes.
Send a message to the Awards and Medals team.