The longlist for this year's Royal Society Prizes for Science Books General Prize, the world's most prestigious awards for science writing has today (Thursday 5 April 2007) been announced.
The judges selected a longlist of twelve books:
- A Mind of its Own by Cordelia Fine (Icon Books)
- Bang! The Complete History of the Universe by Brian May, Patrick Moore and Chris Lintott (Carlton Books)
- Francis Crick, Discoverer of the Genetic Code by Matt Ridley (Harper Press)
- Giant Leaps by Jack Challoner and John Perry (Boxtree)
- Homo Britannicus by Chris Stringer (Penguin Allen Lane)
- In Search of Memory by Eric R. Kandel (WW Norton & Co)
- Lonesome George by Henry Nicholls (Macmillan)
- One in Three by Adam Wishart (Profile Books)
- Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert (Harper Press)
- The Goldilocks Enigma by Paul Davies (Penguin Allen Lane)
- The Rough Guide to Climate Change by Robert Henson (Rough Guides)
- The Science of Doctor Who by Paul Parsons (Icon Books)
This year's entries were a diverse range touching on all aspects of science. With such a spread of books the judges again had the difficult task of narrowing the books down to just 12 from a set of 85.
Professor Colin Pillinger, Chair of the Judges said: "Trying to reduce the number of entries down to just 12 was both a pleasure and a nightmare. Clearly there are a great many authors who aspire to winning The Royal Society's prestigious book prize. The number of entries, the range of subjects covered and the diversity of approach immediately told the panel that science writing is alive and thriving and that they were going to be in for a difficult job. We will certainly be very well educated by the end of the competition!"
The long list pitches established scientists such as Patrick Moore against non scientists such as Sun journalist John Perry.
Four publishers each have two books on the longlist Harper Press, Macmillan, Penguin Allen Lane and small publisher Icon Books. Two other small publishers, Rough Guides and Profile, also make the list.
The judges on the General Prize judging panel are: Colin Pillinger FRS (Chair), Professor of Planetary Sciences, Open University; Trevor Baylis, inventor, most famously of the wind-up radio; Louisa Bolch, Commissioning Editor for Science, Channel 4; Emily Holmes, Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow, University of Oxford; Christine McGourty, Science Correspondent, BBC News