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Gavin Pretor-Pinney wins Royal Society Winton Prize

18th November 2011

The 2011 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books has been won by self-confessed 'expert in idleness' Gavin Pretor-Pinney for The Wavewatcher's Companion.

Pretor-Pinney, who co-founded Idler magazine and also set up the Cloud Appreciation Society, is a surprise winner of the GBP 10,000 prize, which was established in 1988 and is designed to promote accessible science books and draw attention to science writing in general.

He was the bookmakers' outsider for the prize but Richard Holmes, chairman of the judging panel, said The Wavewatcher's Companion was chosen for using relatively straightforward science to alter readers' perceptions of the world around them.

'It is a book of old-fashioned charm and wit, provocatively organised and illustrated and marvellously deft with its presentation of hard modern science. In short, The Wavewatcher's Companion is a highly unusual and outstandingly effective piece of popular science writing,' Holmes commented.

The prize has previously been won by some of the most famous and respected science writers in the world, from Stephen Hawking to Nick Lane, who scooped last year's award for Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution.

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