Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books

The shortlist for the 2015 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books with the judges' comments.

The winning book will be announced at a public event on 24 September 2015, hosted by Professor Brian Cox OBE, Royal Society Professor for Public Engagement in Science. The author of the winning book receives £25,000 and £2,500 each is awarded to the authors of the five shortlisted books.

2015 Shortlist

The Man Who Couldn't Stop jacket cover

The Man Who Couldn’t Stop by David Adam

Published by Picador

The judges said: “An amazingly gripping and informative look inside someone’s head, told with a depth of knowledge and genius turn of phrase that only an expert and gifted writer could wield.”

Download the first chapter of this book (PDF).

Alex Through the Looking Glass jacket cover

Alex Through the Looking-Glass: How Life Reflects Numbers and Numbers Reflect Life by Alex Bellos

Published by Bloomsbury

The judges said: “Bellos fizzes with enthusiasm, and his genuine love for the subject shines through and makes mathematics engaging and non-threatening even for math-phobes.”

Download the first chapter of this book (PDF).

Smashing Physics jacket cover

Smashing Physics: Inside the World’s Biggest Experiment by Jon Butterworth

Published by Headline

The judges said: “With his unique insider perspective, Butterworth has humanized a classic science story that we all thought we knew. His writing is so engaging that he makes some of the most advanced science around seem within our grasp.”

Download the first chapter of this book (PDF).

Life's Greatest Secret jacket cover

Life’s Greatest Secret: The Story of the Race to Crack the Genetic Code by Matthew Cobb

Published by Profile

The judges said: “A brilliantly written account of one of the most important scientific discoveries of the century, with a fresh perspective that also dispels the myths popularised by previous reports.”

Download the first chapter of this book (PDF).

Life on the Edge jacket cover

Life on the Edge: The Coming of Age of Quantum Biology by Jim Al-Khalili and Johnjoe Mcfadden

Published by Bantam Press

The judges said: “A topic that could have been incomprehensible to the average reader becomes unexpectedly enthralling in the hands of these skilled communicators. A controversial work that deserves its already wide audience.”

Download the first chapter of this book (PDF).

Adventures in the Anthropocene jacket cover

Adventures in the Anthropocene: A Journey to the Heart of the Planet we Made by Gaia Vince

Published by Chatto & Windus

The judges said: “Vince’s passion and strong voice grabs you instantly and the story she tells is truly original. A finely-crafted book on an important, urgent topic.”

Download the first chapter of this book (PDF).

Interviews and past winners

Mark Miodownik’s Stuff Matters won the 2014 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books. 

This prestigious prize celebrates outstanding popular science books from around the world and is open to authors of science books written for a non-specialist audience.

Watch video interviews with authors from the 2014 shortlist, as well as previous shortlisted authors, on the Royal Society's Youtube channel.

The previous winners are listed below. You can also find information on all shortlisted and longlisted books. 

We also provide the Royal Society Young People's Book Prize for the best books that communicate science to young people.

Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books

Call for entries 2015
The call for entries for the 2015 Prize is now closed.

Shortlist 2015
Announced in August

Previous winning, shortlisted, longlisted titles

Previous judges

Contact us

For more information on the Royal Society Science Book Prizes please contact

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The prize is supported by Winton.