Royal Society releases Science Book Prize shortlist

Royal Society releases Science Book Prize shortlist

Except there don’t seem to be any…. Oh.

The six shortlisted books? They are:

I guess, in the widest sense, there’s the ‘Small Inventions that changed the world’, and the ‘Exceptions’ should be widely read, I’m sure.

Of the former, the society writes:

“Tracing the surprising journeys of each invention through the millennia, Roma reveals how handmade Roman nails led to modern skyscrapers, how the potter’s wheel enabled space exploration, and how humble lenses helped her conceive a child against the odds. She invites us to marvel at these small but perfectly formed inventions, sharing the stories of the remarkable, and often unknown, scientists and engineers who made them possible.”

But there does seem a strong bias to natural science in that list. Am I wrong to expect technology, under a science umbrella? Share your thoughts in the Comments below. (It won’t be the first time I’ve assumed too much.)

Anyway, the society summarises:

“The list features the youngest shortlistee in the Prize’s history, debut author Nicklas Brendborg – a PhD student of molecular biology at the University of Copenhagen – whilst Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ed Yong is recognised for the second time, having previously appeared on the 2017 list. Joining them on the shortlist are a second Pulitzer Prize recipient, Kate Zernike, reporter for the New York Times; Roma Agrawal, an engineer, author and presenter who worked on the Shard, Western Europe’s tallest tower; writer, birdwatcher and conductor Lev Parikian; and journalist and author of sixteen books David Quammen.”

You can read more about the shortlist here. It is collated from 255 submissions published between 1 July 2022 and 30 September 2023.

The awards aim to celebrate “the best popular science writing from across the globe”.

(Full disclosure: I am currently reading the Immense World book, by chance, but – sorry to say – I can’t recommend it, personally. It’s probably me, again…)

See also: The best tech books ever? Some recommended reading…

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