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Michael Hunter wins Samuel Pepys Award

27th October 2011

The fifth Samuel Pepys Award has been presented to Michael Hunter for his biography of the 17th century scientist Robert Boyle.

Boyle: Between God and Science was described as 'fascinating' by the judging panel, which awarded Hunter the GBP 2,000 prize and a specially-commissioned medal during a ceremony at St Paul's School, where Pepys was a scholar.

The bi-annual award is given to a writer who has made the greatest contribution to the understanding of Pepys and mid-17th century writing, in order to encourage scholarship in this area.

Chair of the judging panel Ann Sweeney said there was no doubt in the judges' minds about who should win the award, describing Boyle: Between God and Science as a 'tour de force' that sensitively explores the life of one of the key figures in the scientific revolution, whose faith frequently threatened to impact on his work.

'This is a fascinating portrait of a remarkable man whose strong religious beliefs were balanced by his constant search for explanation in the world of science,' she added.

Hunter follows in the footsteps of J. D. Davies, who was awarded the most recent Samuel Pepys Award in 2009 for Pepys's Navy: Ships, Men and Warfare 1649-1689, described by the judges as being 'very comprehensive and written with great authority'.

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