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Royal Society Winton Prize shortlist announced

25th September 2012

The shortlist for the 2012 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books has been unveiled, with six titles in contention for the GBP 10,000 award.

Arguably the UK's most prestigious prize for science books, the award was inaugurated in 1988 to encourage and advance the publication of accessible, high-quality science books.

This year's contenders include Joshua Foer's Moonwalking with Einstein, which studies people with so-called superhuman memories and the techniques they use to supposedly enhance their mental capacity.

It is joined on the shortlist by My Beautiful Genome by Lone Frank, who provides an insight into how people's genes define them, and James Gleick's The Information, which examines how the title subject is used, transmitted and stored.

Other candidates include The Hidden Reality by former Royal Society Winton Prize winner Brian Greene, which examines parallel universes and the laws of the cosmos, and Steven Pinker's The Better Angels of Our Nature, which assesses the decline of violence in history and the reasons behind it.

The shortlist is completed by Nathan Wolfe's The Viral Storm; a thought-provoking exploration of the world of the virus and how it has evolved in line with the human species.

Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell, chair of the 2012 judging panel, said the shortlist comprises 'fascinating, provocative books' that inspire people to think about the world around them.

'The books explore emerging issues, such as pandemics, as well as the more fundamental questions of what it truly means to be human, from our genetics to our memories or our propensity for violence,' she added.

'Choosing a winner from these books, each of which has provided us with wonderful new insights, is a daunting prospect.'

The winner of the 2012 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books will be announced on 26th November 2012, with the victorious author awarded GBP 10,000 and the unsuccessful shortlisted writers each receiving GBP 1,000.

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