When the Nature Press Office finishes for the day, it’s usually the time to take a break from thinking about science and how to communicate it to the broadest possible audience. However, from today onwards Nature’s Head of Press, Alice Henchley, will commute home with her nose stuck in the best of 2012’s popular science books. Over the coming two months, Alice will be reading and reviewing the runners and riders shortlisted for the 2013 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books.
2012 was clearly a vintage year, with contenders ranging from an analysis of the new science of memory to a tour of the blue planet. The complete list comprises:
- Bird Sense by Tim Birkhead
- The Particle at the End of the Universe by Sean Carroll
- Cells to Civilizations by Enrico Coen
- Pieces of Light by Charles Fernyhough
- The Book of Barely Imagined Beings by Caspar Henderson
- Ocean of Life by Callum Roberts
So, with a long-forgotten background in zoology, will Alice be drawn to the compendium of the most extraordinary beasts to walk the Earth or the quirky examination of what it’s like to be a bird? Or will she weigh in for the explanation half the people working in science still need – what on Earth is a Higgs boson? Alice’s Analysis begins on the 7th October with a review of The Particle at the End of the Universe, with reviews of the other five shortlisted tomes to be posted every other week. The winner will be announced at a public event at the Royal Society, hosted by Dara O Briain and featuring the shortlisted authors, on the evening of the 25th November.
Whilst she’s doing this, Of Schemes and Memes will be running a competition to win a set of the shortlist – all you have to do is predict the winning book and enter our prize draw below. The terms and conditions for the competition can be found here.