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Information for publishers and authors

2019 winner Caroline Criado Perez with Brian Cox

How to enter

The call for entries for the 2020 Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize is now closed. 

For all enquiries, contact sciencebooks@royalsociety.org.

The Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize has championed outstanding popular science writing and authors since 1988. Currently it is the only major international prize that celebrates all areas of science writing for a non-specialist audience.

The Prize is awarded each year by a panel of expert judges to the book that makes science accessible to a mass audience through exciting and engaging content. The judging panel is selected to include a Royal Society Fellow, one of the most eminent scientists in the world, and Royal Society Research Fellow, selected as an outstanding early career scientist, and high profile individuals from the cultural and literary world. Pivotal in promoting a wider understanding of science and its role in society, the Prize advocates books that challenge the public perception that science writing can be too difficult or uninteresting to engage readers.  

Key dates 

Date Details
29 January 2020 Call for entries opens
26 March 2020 Call for entries closes
June 2020 Judging panel announced
22 September 2020 Shortlist announced
3 November 2020 Winner announced at award ceremony 

Entry process 

1. Each book entered must be submitted by the book’s publisher.
2. Ensure you have read all the terms of entry on this page before submitting your entry/entries. 
3. For each book you are entering:

  • Complete the full online entry form. A separate form must be completed for each book. 
  • Send an e-book version of your book to sciencebooks@royalsociety.org.

To arrive by 6pm (GMT) on Thursday 26 March 2020. 

Eligibility criteria

  1. The subject matter of the books entered may include any aspect of popular science and technology, including biographies of scientists and technologists, and histories of science and technology.
     
  2. The Prize rewards books that best contribute to making science more accessible to public adult audiences. Judges will look for books they deem stimulating, engaging, clear, accessible, and high-quality. These books might challenge people’s views that science is too difficult, boring, or inaccessible.

  3. The judges’ interpretation of “popular science books” excludes books published primarily for scientific, professional or specialist audiences and pure reference works including encyclopedias, educational textbooks, and descriptive books. The judges’ decision on the eligibility of an entry is final.

  4. Books in the same series may be judged together or separately, at the sole discretion of the judges.

  5. The first publication in English must have been between 1 July 2019 and 30 September 2020 inclusive for all books entered. Books which were first published between 1 July 2019 and 30 September 2019 may only be submitted on the condition that they were not submitted for the Insight Investment Science Books Prize 2019. The only exceptions are for any books in which:
    i. Any member of the judging panel has a direct involvement, which may be deferred for consideration in the following year.
    ii. The Chair of Judges has agreed prior to submission that there have been extenuating circumstances. 

  6. Books entered must be in the English language

  7. Books entered must be available to purchase in the UK through a UK bookstore or through an online retailer at time of entry.

  8. Books entered which haven’t been published yet are eligible as long as preview copies of the book (proof or manuscripts) are available by 1 April 2020. Uncorrected proofs, manuscripts or PDF sections of the book are acceptable as a preview copy, providing that the final versions are sent to the Royal Society before 9 June 2020. Books that are in the process of being reprinted at the time of entry (e.g.:- as paperback when originally published as hardback) are acceptable.

  9. Employees and officers of The Royal Society or any associated company of The Royal Society and their immediate families, persons connected with the competition/prize draw and their immediate families will not be eligible to submit publications.

  10. There is no restriction on the geographical location of the publisher of any entry. There are no restrictions on the nationality, age or any other characteristic of the author(s) or illustrator(s) of any entry. 

  11. The copies entered must be paper-based and bound. For printed books we would expect the latest edition of the paperback or hardback. For eBooks we would expect the current edition of the eBook, printed and bound. 

  12. We ask that PDF versions of the book are also submitted to accompany your entry. This is so that we can distribute the book to aid in the judging process. Unaccompanied electronic book submissions will not be accepted.

  13. Publishers may submit as many books as they wish and are encouraged to do so. 

  14. There is no charge to enter.

Regulations

  1. The Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize 2020 (the Prize) will be awarded to the author(s) of a book that is judged to best meet with these terms of entry.

  2. Books must be submitted by the publisher. The submission of an author’s work by the publisher will be taken as agreement for their work to be considered.

  3. For 2020, prizes of up to a total of £37,500 are awarded:
    i.The author of the winning book will receive £25,000 .
    ii. £2500 per book is awarded to the author(s) of up to five shortlisted books.
    iii. All the prize money will be awarded as described above. Where a book has more than one author, the Royal Society will agree the allocation of the prize money with the publisher.

  4. The judging panel is appointed by the Royal Society. The judges’ decision is final.

  5. In the event of a book being shortlisted for a Prize, publishers agree that they will:

    a) Contribute 10 copies of the book to be used by the Royal Society for promoting the book and the Prize.
    b) Supply within ten working days upon notification of shortlisting: book synopsis, author biography, high-resolution electronic photographs of the author(s) and book cover cleared for perpetual, royalty-free use and distribution by the Society or its agents in any media and publicity associated with the Prize.
    c) In cooperation and agreement with the Royal Society press office, issue a press release to appropriate contacts about the book’s success in being shortlisted.
    d) Guarantee shortlisted authors are available for appropriate levels of media activities ahead of the awards ceremony. The Royal Society will issue a briefing note on nomination to the shortlist advising the expected involvement required.
    e) Ensure shortlisted authors are available to attend the 2020 award ceremony in London which will take place in Autumn 2020. The Royal Society is able to provide support for travel and accommodation where needed and within reason.
    f) We ask that shortlisted and winning authors are freely available for promotional events to promote the prize during the year after their award. We aim to organise a variety of high-profile activity across literary festivals, online discussions, school activity and other relevant events, which has a positive promotional value to both the book prize and the winning and shortlisted authors;
    g) Acknowledge the Prize in subsequent reprints, paperback editions and point of sale material of shortlisted and winning books.

  6. The winning title must mention The Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize on the cover, rear or dust jacket on subsequent printings, including the paperback. 

  7. The prize is managed by the Royal Society, to whom all enquiries about the application of these regulations should be addressed.

Enquiries

 

General enquiries about the Prize should be sent to sciencebooks@royalsociety.org.

All media enquiries regarding the Prize should be directed to press@royalsociety.org.

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