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Royal Society Prize 2007
See also Aventis Prize 2006, Aventis Prize 2005, Aventis Prize 2004
Read more about this year's prestigious Royal Society Prize (formerly the Aventis Prize), arguably the best popular science books published in 2006. All these books are worth a look - it's a superb collection, but also take a look at our alternative list (which we think is even better!). See also the junior list.
Click on the book name to see the review. We are yet to review books without a rating below, but you can still click on the Amazon buttons to find out more. For books we have reviewed, click on the review or the book name to find out more or buy at Amazon.
|A Mind of Its Own||Cordelia Fine||A short and wonderfully readable introduction to the many ways our brains deceive us, illustrated throughout by psychological experiments||LONG LIST|
|Bang! The Complete History of the Universe||Patrick Moore, Brian May, Chris Lintott||A superbly illustrated introduction to the basics of cosmology, for all ages, though we think it works best for younger readers.||LONG LIST|
|Francis Crick||Matt Ridley||A very readable and insightful biography of one of the key figures in the discovery of the structure of DNA - much more than retelling a well-known story||LONG LIST|
|Giant Leaps||Jack Challoner and John Perry||LONG LIST|
|Homo Britannicus||Chris Stringer||SHORT LIST|
|In Search of Memory||Eric R. Kandel||Excellent account of the work of the Nobel Prize winner Kandel, putting his studies of the cellular nature of memory into the context of his life.||SHORT LIST|
|Lonesome George||Henry Nicholls||The attempts to mate the sole known tortoise from Pinta Island in the Galapagos is used to introduce the islands themselves, and a touch of Darwin||SHORT LIST|
|One in Three||Adam Wishart||
|Stumbling on Happiness||Daniel Gilbert||
|The Goldilocks Enigma [US: Cosmic Jackpot]||Paul Davies||
|The Rough Guide to Climate Change||Robert Henson||An excellent introduction to the whys and wherefores of global warming: mix of politics and science, hence relatively low score||SHORT LIST|
|The Science of Doctor Who||Paul Parsons||The world's longest running SF TV show comes under the "Science of" spotlight in an enjoyable and tantalising book||LONG LIST|
Our own longlist
The Royal Society Prize longlist doesn't necessarily cover the best popular science books out in 2006 - take a look at our alternative list, which has several overlaps but also features some books that should have made it, but didn't:
|The Long Tail||Chris Anderson||A simple, brilliant idea - the Internet can transform retail by offering almost unlimited choice, exploring the tail of the sales distribution||Technology|
|The Egypt Code||Robert Bauval||Don't be put off by the new-agey title: this is a real thriller of an exploration of the relationship between Ancient Egyptian buildings and stellar observation.||Archaeology, astronomy|
|Meta Math! The Quest for Omega||Gregory Chaitin||Fascinating description of a real modern mathematician's thinking, coupled with insights into the nature of maths.||Maths|
|The Quantum Zoo||Marcus Chown||The best introduction to quantum physics and relativity we've seen with some superb examples and great explanation||Physics|
|The God Effect||Brian Clegg||Remarkable exploration of quantum entanglement written by our editor: a bizarre effect that has amazing applications. Excellent explanation of the science||Physics|
|Children of the Sun||Alfred W. Crosby||A sweeping and inspiring trip through humanity's relationship with energy, from simple agriculture to nuclear power. Style not to everyone's taste, but magnificent.||Overview|
|A Mind of Its Own||Cordelia Fine||A short and wonderfully readable introduction to the many ways our brains deceive us, illustrated throughout by psychological experiments||Human science|
|No Two Alike||Judith Rich Harris||A real page turner as the author explores how personalities differ, with a style that owes as much to a murder mystery as a science book||Human science|
|Francis Crick||Matt Ridley||A very readable and insightful biography of one of the key figures in the discovery of the structure of DNA - much more than retelling a well-known story||Biography|
|Broken Genius||Joel Shurkin||Exceedingly well-told biography of William Shockley, physics Nobel prize winner and founder of Silicon Valley whose reputation was ruined by his social theories.||Biography|
The General Prize is for the best book written for a general adult readership.
The General Prize is chosen by a panel of five judges. They whittle down all the entries to around twelve books - the longlist - then six books - the shortlist. On the day of the award ceremony they then convene one final time to pick the winner.
Colin Pillinger (Chair), Professor of Planetary Sciences, Open University
Trevor Baylis, inventor, most famously of the wind-up radio
Louisa Bolch, Commissioning Editor for Science, Channel 4
Emily Holmes, Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow, University of Oxford
Christine McGourty, BBC Science and Environment Correspondent
The six books selected by the Junior Prize judging panel are:
Can You Feel the Force? by Richard Hammond (Dorling Kindersley; ISBN 1405315431)
How Nearly Everything Was Invented By The Brainwaves, by Lisa Swerling and Ralph Lazar (Dorling Kindersley, ISBN 1405313293)
It's True! Space Turns You Into Spaghetti by Heather Catchpole and Vanessa Woods, (Allen & Unwin, ISBN 1741146259)
KFK Natural Disasters by Andrew Langley (Kingfisher, ISBN 0753413051)
My Body Book by Mick Manning and Brita Granström (Franklin Watts, ISBN 0749663804)
Science Investigations - Electricity by John Farndon (Wayland, ISBN 0750234733)
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Last update 16 April 2011