They include neuroscientist and Nobel Prize winner Eric R. Kandel, Chris Stringer, Professor of the Natural History Museum and Adam Wishart, a writer and television director.
The shortlist is made up of four practising scientists and two science writers. The books cover a range of scientific issues including climate science, psychology, environmental and medical science.
The six books short listed by the judges are:
Homo Britannicus by Chris Stringer (Penguin Allen Lane)
The judges said: "A great British scientist talks about the fascinating development of human life in Britain in this beautifully presented book."
In Search of Memory by Eric R. Kandel (WW Norton & Co)
The judges said: "Kandel's memoir reflects his joy of discovery. It deftly integrates science and history, charting both the adversity he overcame to become a Nobel Laureate and the development of the science of the mind' during the twentieth century."
Lonesome George by Henry Nicholls (Macmillan)
The judges said: "Lonesome George is a great piece of journalistic writing that makes you think about a wide range of complex issues. "
One in Three by Adam Wishart (Profile Books)
The judges said: "This beautifully written account uses the author's own personal experience to tackle the science of the taboo subject of cancer."
Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert (Harper Press)
The judges said: "This is one of those books you can't put down. It reads like a novel and will change the way you think about yourself and your relationships with others."
The Rough Guide to Climate Change by Robert Henson (Rough Guides)
The judges said: "This clearly illustrated book tells you everything you ever wanted to know about the hot topic' of the day in an accessible way."
Professor Colin Pillinger, chair of the judging panel, said: "This year's shortlist reflects the great range of styles that science books can encompass. We believe that they are the best six science books of the last year."
The publisher Penguin continues its strong showing in the books prize, appearing in the shortlist for the past four years. Norton makes a return having not had a book on the shortlist since 1993. Profile and Macmillan Science are both newcomers to the shortlist.
The winner will be announced on 15 May 2007 and awarded £10, 000 and the author of each shortlisted book will receive £1000. The winner of the Royal Society Junior Books Prize will also be announced at the same ceremony.