Groups of children from over 100 schools and youth groups are part of an innovative judging panel which will choose the winner of this year's Royal Society Prizes for Science Books - the world's most prestigious awards for science writing - from a shortlist published today (Monday 26 March 2007)
The winner will be selected entirely by the young people from six shortlisted books. These include one by Richard Hammond, presenter of Top Gear and the science series Brainiac. Can you feel the force? takes you on a journey, starting 3000 years ago, through aspects of our everyday lives, on the way explaining exciting elements of physics happening all around us which we cannot see.
This year's shortlist covers a wide spread of the different sciences ranging from It's true! Space turns you into spaghetti giving tips on how to become an astronaut to Natural Disasters outlining ways to cope with devastation and My Body Book revealing what's inside your body.
Eleanor Updale, Chair of this year's Junior Prize Judges said: "The judges were looking for books which excite interest in science and scientific method without being patronising or apologetic. We wanted dependable information, presented in a palatable format that inspired further investigation. The shortlisted books do this in different ways for various age-groups and levels of knowledge. It will be fascinating to see which one the young people choose as the overall winner.
The six books shortlisted by the judging panel are:
- Can you feel the force? by Richard Hammond (Dorling Kindersley)
- How nearly everything was invented by the Brainwaves, illustrated by Lisa Swerling and Ralph Lazar (Dorling Kindersley)
- It's true! Space turns you into spaghetti by Heather Catchpole and Vanessa Woods (Allen and Unwin)
- KFK Natural Disasters by Andrew Langley (Kingfisher Knowledge)
- My Body Book by Mick Manning and Brita Granström (Franklin Watts)
- Science Investigations: Electricity by John Farndon (Wayland)
For the sixth year running, the Royal Society Prizes for Science Books are collaborating with Ecsite-uk, the UK network of science centres and museums, to run the judging process.
The Judges on the Junior Prize panel this year who selected the six shortlisted books are: Eleanor Updale, (Chair), award winning children's writer and historian of science; Karen Bultitude, Development Director within the Science Communication Unit at the University of the West of England; Dafydd Evans, Royal Society University Research Fellow at Cardiff University; Laura Grant, Honorary Research Fellow in the Science Communication Unit of the University of Liverpool and Seb Rogers, head of science at Cirencester Deer Park School.