W&N strikes new two-book deal with geneticist Adam Rutherford

W&N strikes new two-book deal with geneticist Adam Rutherford

Weidenfeld & Nicolson has acquired two new books by Adam Rutherford, British geneticist, broadcaster and author of A Brief History Of Everyone Who Ever Lived.

The first book, Does Race Exist: A Short Scientific Investigation, is described as a "manifesto", arguing the way we talk about race is not reflected in a modern understanding of the genetic basis of human variation. According to W&N the book provides "the weapon we need against the use of science to justify bigotry" and will hit shelves in 2020.

"Race and genetics are intimately entwined, but our culture is changing and science is changing, and more than ever, genetics is being used as a tool of identity politics and a new style of old racist ideas. I want to clear that mess up," commented Rutherford.

The second, The Atlas of All Creation, will be "a bold new history of the universe", encompasing a history of science too. Its coverage ranges from the first second after the Big Bang to "the eventual decline and dissipation of absolutely everything", with each chapter to deal with the universe at a different level of scale, dissecting its structure, at the same time as telling the story of how we know. Rutherford's "new history of the cosmos, and everything in it" will be released in 2022.

Jenny Lord, publishing director for Weidenfeld & Nicolson Non-fiction, acquired world rights, excluding North America, from Will Francis at Janklow & Nesbit. She said: "A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived established Adam as one of the most exciting science writers of his generation, so we are thrilled to be working with him on two further books. Though they are very different projects – one a short, punchy investigation and the other a substantial science history – both play to his strengths as a first-rate storyteller and communicator of ideas."

Rutherford added: "I'm absolutely delighted to be working on two new books with W&N – their list is such a natural fit for me writing about the ideas I am interested in, and crucially I have a brilliant team who have made my books what they are."