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Robert Winston’s Home Lab wins Royal Society’s Young People’s Book Prize

20 November 2017

Scientist, TV presenter and author Robert Winston’s book Home Lab has been chosen by children as the winning book for the Royal Society’s Young People’s Book Prize 2017. The prize was awarded at a ceremony at Glasgow Science Centre this afternoon.

This year, approximately 3,000 young people from over 300 schools and youth groups all across the UK cast votes for their favourite science book from a shortlist of six titles.

Home Lab (published by Dorling Kindersley) is packed with twenty-eight exciting experiments that can be made with everyday items found around the home. Readers will discover the experiments that made Robert Winston want to become a scientist.

In the book’s foreword, he writes,

“I am often asked what made me want to be a scientist. I was about seven or eight when I realized that science was fascinating, and what most interested me was doing my own experiments. I clearly remember the excitement I felt when I realized that I could write secret messages using juice as an invisible ink. Seeing my words appear when I heated the paper was something I still find slightly weird and a bit of a thrill.”

Robert also won the prize with Utterly Amazing Science in 2015, Science Experiments in 2012 and What makes me me in 2005?

Here’s what some of the young judges had to say about the winning book:

Faith, age 8 “Brilliant. I'm going to try all these at home. I've already asked my mum and dad to get me this book.” 

Taha, age 7 "I can’t wait to try out all the amazing experiments in this amazing book - especially since it was written by a famous scientist!" 

Juliet, age 11, “I loved this book because it has amazing pictures and detailed instructions to create exciting experiments.” 

Mohammed, age 6 "I like the page that tells you how to make paper aeroplanes. It's really cool." 

Ella, age 10 “It's absolutely amazing and every time I turn a page, it never lets me down! I liked it so much that I went out and bought a copy of my own with my pocket money.” 

Kieran, age 13 “According to me, I would say that this book is very good for children who may have a lot of spare time since it is packed full of home experiments and things to make. I like how the book has illustrations/ pictures that go with the steps as it helps you to understand the experiment and follow along with ease. It is certainly a book for keen young scientists.”

Emily: “The best bit about this book is that any age can use it. Even little children can because their parents can help them read it and they will have fun too as they can do the experiments. I wish I had this book because I love to do experiments at home and this would show me how.”

Michael, age 13 “Very interesting! Lots of experiments to suit everyone!  Science club is now going to be so much fun!” 

The children judged the winning book from a shortlist of 6, selected by expert judges including author Lucy Hawking.

Judge Martin Chilton, said: “Home Lab is a good example of science not just being a theoretical study, but it’s actually for kids to get their hands stuck in, ask questions and find out what’s going on. There are wonderful experiments in this which I’ve done with the school children I work with and they’ve really enjoyed them. I think it’s very important to show that science isn’t just done in a laboratory, it isn’t just studied at university – actually you can do it yourself with simple materials.

The book has very easy to follow instructions, even for somebody like me, even I can do them. It’s interactive and I think it’s important to have that element in the shortlist.”

The full 2017 shortlist for the Royal Society’s Young People’s Book Prize included: 

The winning author receives an award of £10,000 and the shortlisted authors each receive £2,500.