Saturday, March 11, 2006

Go Read A Book

The 13-strong longlist of popular science books vying for the prestigious 2006 Aventis Prize has been announced.
The award, which celebrates the very best in popular science writing, is now in its 18th year. A cash prize of £10,000 and a certain sales boost await the winner, to be announced on 16 May at a ceremony at the Royal Society in London.

Fiammetta Rocco, on announcing the longlist, said, "This year's submissions were of remarkably high quality, which made the job of picking out just a dozen books especially difficult. In fact, the longlist has 13 books because we didn't want to lose a single one.

The Aventis prize is managed by the Royal Society, the UK's academy of science, and supported by the Aventis Foundation.

The full longlist for the 2006 Aventis General Prize:

Electric Universe - How Electricity Switched on the Modern World, by David Bodanis (Little Brown)

Collapse - How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive, by Jared Diamond (Penguin Allen Lane)

The Elements of Murder - A History of Poison, John Emsley (Oxford University Press)

The Gecko's Foot - Bio-inspiration - Engineering New Materials from Nature, by Peter Forbes (Fourth Estate)

The Silicon Eye - How a Silicon Valley Company Aims to Make All Current Computers, Cameras, and Cell Phones Obsolete, by George Gilder (WW Norton)
Note: And he’s up for a Science award? Gilder helped found the Discovery Institute, originally a moderate group which aimed to privatize and modernize Seattle's transit systems but it later became the leading think tank of the intelligent design movement, with Gilder penning many articles in favor of ID and opposing evolution. (info from HERE; thanks to Sukie for pointing this out!)

Parallel Worlds - The Science of Alternative Universes and our Future in the Cosmos, by Michio Kaku (Penguin)

Power, Sex, Suicide - Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life, by Nick Lane (Oxford University Press)

Venomous Earth - How Arsenic Caused the World's Worst Mass Poisoning, by Andrew Meharg (Macmillan)

Empire of the Stars - Friendship, Obsession and Betrayal in the Quest for Black Holes, by Arthur I. Miller (Little Brown)

Seven Deadly Colours-The Genius of Nature's Palette and how it Eluded Darwin, by Andrew Parker (Simon & Schuster)

The Truth About Hormones - What's Going on when we're Tetchy, Spotty, Fearful, Tearful or Just Plain Awful, by Vivienne Parry (Atlantic Books)

Stalking the Riemann Hypothesis - The Quest to Find the Hidden Law of Prime Numbers, by Dan Rockmore (Jonathan Cape)

The Fruits of War - How War and Conflict have Driven Science, by Michael White (Simon & Schuster)