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About the Royal Society

Inspire young people to read about the exciting world of science

09 May 2011

If you run an after school club, reading group, or any other type of youth group, the Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of science, would like to invite your group to help to judge the winner of this year’s Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize, which celebrates the best books that communicate science to young people aged up to 14.  The books can be factual or fictional, just as long as they make science exciting – no textbooks or encyclopaedias allowed!

Publishers across the UK have been submitting their best recent books that communicate science to young people and an adult judging panel will narrow down the choice to a shortlist of six books.  Following that, groups of young people will discuss the books and collectively select the winner. Participation is open to any group of young people that is able to read and discuss the shortlist and recommend their choice for who should win.

Groups who are selected to take part in the judging will receive a complete set of the six shortlisted books for them to read, discuss and vote for their favourite book.  Each group’s entry will then be sent back to the Royal Society, who will count up the votes and announce the overall winner in early 2012.  75 groups will be selected to receive a complete set of the shortlisted books; however, if your group isn’t selected for a free set of books, you can still enter if you’re able to buy the books yourself.  Please note that the prize is open to groups only and applications from individuals cannot be accepted.

Applications from groups to participate in the judging process must be received by Wednesday 1st June 2011. If you would like to enter on behalf of a youth group or other club, please visit

Previous prizewinners have included the Big Book of Science Things to Make and Do by Rebecca Gilpin & Leonie Pratt, Can you feel the force? by Richard Hammond and Horrible Science: Really Rotten Experiments by Nick Arnold and Tony de Saulles.  The Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize did not take place in 2008 - 2010 due to funding issues but we are delighted to announce that in 2011 the Prize is offered thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor.