“This may be a golden age of science writing — we had to choose from well over a hundred wonderful books covering a huge range of topics. Many of them would have deserved a place on the list”, said Professor Uta Frith, Chair of the judges.
“We happily and unanimously agreed on the long list, but we each had favourites that we were sad not to be able to include.”
The wide variety of subjects covered by these books is exciting — there’s something here for everyone!
“We are very pleased that almost all of our selected books are ambitiously grounded in several subjects at once, be it biology, physics, psychology, or technology” continued Professor Frith. “The judges all commented on how much they enjoyed the process. It was an inspiring task.”
The judges on this year’s panel are Jon Culshaw, impressionist and comedian; Dr Emily Flashman, Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow at University of Oxford; Professor Uta Frith DBE FBA FRS (Chair), Emeritus Professor of Cognitive Development at University College London; Joanne Harris, novelist and author of Chocolat; and Lucy Siegle, journalist and writer on environmental issues.
Besides providing the reading public with an excellent list of science books to read whilst on holiday at the beach, the longlist announcement coincides with a panel discussion at the World Science Festival held right now my fair city, New York. This festival is hosting a panel discussion entitled “Science and story: cutting-edge discovery for a literary public”, with James Gleick, winner of the 2012 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books and two of the 2012 shortlisted authors Lone Frank and Brian Greene.
I’m delighted to be on such an illustrious list, and am looking forward to catching up with the other longlisted titles. I haven’t read nearly enough of them, but I’m pleased to see Caspar Henderson’s amazing Book of Barely Imagined Beings on there.