Shortlist 2014

The shortlist for the 2014 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books with the judges' comments.

The winning book will be announced at a public event on 10 November 2014.

Bird Sense UK jacket

Serving the Reich: The Struggle for the Soul of Physics under Hitler by Philip Ball

Published by The Bodley Head

The judges said: “An authoritative account of the complex science and politics of a much disputed period in history. This book shows how scientists can never divorce themselves completely from the world around them.”

Download the first chapter of this book (PDF).

Particle

Seven Elements That Have Changed The World: Iron, Carbon, Gold, Silver, Uranium, Titanium, Silicon by John Browne

Published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson - an imprint of the Orion Publishing Group

The judges said: “Browne is clearly a man who has dedicated his life to the elements. This is an inspiring tale of our relationship with these seven very special elements that interweaves the culture, science and history masterfully.”

Download the first chapter of this book (PDF).

Cells

The Perfect Theory: A Century of Geniuses and the Battle over General Relativity by Pedro G. Ferreira

Published by Little, Brown Book Group

The judges said: “A treasure trove of information about the theory of relativity and all its ramifications, carried along by stories of personal struggle that highlight how scientists are only human too.”

Download the first chapter of this book (PDF).

Pieces jacket

The Cancer Chronicles: Unlocking Medicine’s Deepest Mystery by George Johnson

Published by The Bodley Head

The judges said: “A wonderful and yet very sad book. It weaves together an immense amount of detail on this devastating disease with a very personal and touching story.”

Download the first chapter of this book (PDF).

Book of Barely Imagined Beings

Stuff Matters: The Strange Stories of the Marvellous Materials that Shape Our Man-made World by Mark Miodownik

Published by Viking – an imprint of Penguin Books

The judges said: “This brilliantly written book is a fresh take on material science that makes even the most everyday stuff exciting and interesting. It demonstrates just how creative and ingenious the human mind can be in its ability to incorporate them into our lives.”

Download the first chapter of this book (PDF).

Ocean of Life

Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach

Published by Oneworld

The judges said: “Roach is such an entertaining writer who uses humour and wit to make the mundane intriguing and the unmentionable acceptable. She ventures where few would go, for example, Elvis Presley’s poop!”

Download the first chapter of this book (PDF).

 

A poster displaying the 2014 shortlist is available for any schools, libraries or bookshops that wish to display it.

Download the shortlisted poster, or email sciencebooks@royalsociety.org for a hard copy.

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

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The prize is supported by Winton.

Book prizes

Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books
Celebrates the best in popular science writing.

Royal Society Young People's Book Prize
Celebrates the best books that communicate science to young people.