The Royal Society Science Book Prize has received the highest number in its 33-year-history (267), as immunologist Professor Luke O’Neill is named chair of the judges.
The £25,000 prize celebrates the best in popular science writing from around the world. A shortlist of six titles, from submissions published between 1st July 2020 and 30th September 2021, will be whittled down by the judges.
Organisers revealed that a record number of entries - 267 - were received this year, the highest number in the award's 33-year-history. This is an increase of 66% on last year's submissions.
The judging panel has also been revealed. Immunologist, presenter and writer Professor Luke O’Neill (pictured) has been announced as the chair of judges for this year's award. He will be joined by television presenter Ortis Deley, mathematician Dr Anastasia Kisil alongside author and creative writing lecturer Christy Lefteri and Clive Myrie, a writer and film-maker.
“Science communication has always been very important, to entertain, inform and inspire," O’Neill said. "This has never been more relevant than this year, with scientists engaging with the public across all media on a daily basis because of Covid-19. A tremendously interesting number of books have been nominated this year, across a huge range of topics, making our job very enjoyable but also challenging. Science communication is clearly in very good hands.”
The shortlist will be announced in September with the winner announced at a ceremony in November. Each of the shortlisted authors will be awarded £2,500.
Last year the prize was won by Dr Camilla Pang for Explaining Humans (Penguin Books), which examined neurodiverse perspectives on everyday life. In 2019 Caroline Criado Perez won for her examination of gender bias in Invisible Women (Chatto & Windus).