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James Gleick's The Information wins Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books

27th November 2012

James Gleick's The Information has won this year's GBP 10,000 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books.

Now in its 25th year, the prize is the leading award for popular science writing, with books shortlisted for the award being accessible, interesting and compelling accounts of the world around us or inside us.

This year's judging panel praised The Information for providing 'a completely new framework for understanding the world around us', with Gleick receiving the prize from Nobel-winning president of the Royal Society Sir Paul Nurse at a ceremony yesterday evening.

The Information beat five other shortlisted titles, including Joshua Foer's Moonwalking with Einstein, which studies people with so-called superhuman memories, and My Beautiful Genome by Lone Frank, a study of how people's genes define them.

Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell, chair of the judges, praised The Information as an 'ambitious and insightful book'.

'[It] takes us, with verve and fizz, on a journey from African drums to computers, throwing in generous helpings of evidence and examples along the way. It is one of those very rare books that provide a completely new framework for understanding the world around us. It was a privilege to read.'

The other titles on this year's shortlist were The Hidden Reality by Brian Greene, The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker and The Viral Storm by Nathan Wolfe.

Past winners of The Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books include Gavin Pretor-Pinney, Richard Holmes, Bill Bryson and Jared Diamond.

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