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Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Another year, another books prize

They don't call them the COPUS awards any more, the annual bunfight to find the best science books of the year outlived the body that first came up with the idea. (Well, it was really Bernard Dixon's idea, stolen by me when I was a member of COPUS.) So now we have the Royal Society Prizes for Science Books.

The Royal Society has just launched this year's competition, the 19th year of what the RS, probably with good cause, calls "the world's most prestigious award for popular science writing".

Doubtless most of the books will cover the usual subjects. Last year's winner, Electric Universe, How Electricity Switched on the Modern World by David Bodanis, was something of a surprise, in not dealing with evolution or black holes.

It will also be interesting to see how many recognised science writers make it on to the short list.

There is a total of of £30,000 on offer, £1000 if you make the short list, £10,000 for the winners in the general and junior categories.

As in previous years, Aventis is sponsoring the awards. But the RS "is presently seeking a new sponsor for the prizes". All offers welcome.

Details of how to enter and a video of the "genesis of the Royal Society’s prizes for science books" are all on a separate area of the RS's web site.

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