Monday, 27 June 2011

The Longlist for the 2011 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books

The longlist for the 2011 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books has been announced. Good luck trying to pick just one winner out of these fantastic books!

Alex's Adventures in Numberland by Alex Bellos

The judges said: “A playful book that joyously takes us all by the hand on a grown-up trip through the world of mathematics”

Here on Earth: An Argument for Hope by Tim Flannery

The judges said: “Depicting the Earth as a superorganism of which we are just a part, the author uses his optimistic, experienced voice to unravel the natural history of our world and ourselves.”

Massive: The Missing Particle That Sparked the Greatest Hunt in Science by Ian Sample

The judges said: “An exciting adventure through the world of the biggest subject in physics: the Higgs boson.”

Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach

The judges said: “This sharp and witty exploration of spaceflight is a rare combination - a science book with a sense of humour.”

Spider Silk: Evolution and 400 Years of Spinning, Waiting, Snagging and Mating by Leslie Brunetta and Catherine L. Craig

The judges said: “This book uses an unlikely subject to draw out many of the major principles of biology, drawing the reader into the surprisingly fascinating world of the spider.”

The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean

The judges said: “A charming book that brings the elements of the periodic table to life.”

The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Mankind for 500,000 Years by Sonia Shah

The judges said: “This book looks at an immense political and scientific challenge, malaria, and illuminates the heroic role science has played in the battle against it.”

The Price of Altruism: George Price and the Search for the Origins of Kindness by Oren Harman

The judges said: “This book has a wonderfully engaging biographical curve, interwoven with the scientific theories of altruism postulated by its hero.”

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley

The judges said: “Reading this book made us all feel more cheerful and provided a welcome counter-balance to some of the distortions of science by the media.”

The Rough Guide to the Future by Jon Turney

The judges said: “We really enjoyed the unusual format of this book, whose many summaries, boxes, graphs and illustrations made the huge range of issues covered really accessible.“

The Wavewatcher's Companion by Gavin Pretor-Pinney

The judges said: “A lovely, eccentric book filled with fascinating science that takes apart all elements of waves.”

Through the Language Glass: How Words Colour Your World by Guy Deutscher

The judges said: “A quirky book about the science of language, brought to life with history and anecdote.”

What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly

The judges said: “The concept at the centre of this book, that technology is evolving somehow and ‘going somewhere’, felt immensely relevant and intrigued us all.”

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