The UK’s £25,000 Royal Society Science Book Prize Names Its 2022 Shortlist

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Five of the six titles on the Royal Society Science Book Prize list are from independent publishers, two from Profile Books.

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

A Winner Is To Be Named November 29
This morning in London, the shortlist for the Royal Society Science Book Prize has been announced.

The shortlist of six titles is drawn from an initial pool of 219 submissions published between July 1, 2021, and Friday (September 30).

The intent in this awards program is recognition of “captivating and urgent science writing reflecting the place of science in our cultural landscape.

Five of the six shortlisted titles are from independent publishers, two of them from Andrew Franklin’s Profile Books. None of these authors has previously been honored by the program

Two authors’ debut publications are on the shortlist (Rose Anne Kenny and Peter Stott).

Chair of the jury is neuroscientist Maria Fitzgerald, the daughter of Booker Prize winning novelist Penelope Fitzgerald. Joining her are broadcaster and technology consultant Rory Cellan-Jones; novelist Mike Gayle; television presenter and author Kate Humble; and experimental physicist and Royal Society university research fellow Josh Mcfayden.

Royal Society Science Book Prize 2022 Shortlist
  • The Greywacke: How a Priest, a Soldier and a School Teacher Uncovered 300 Million Years of  History by Nick Davidson (Profile Books)
  • Different: What Apes Can Teach Us About Gender by Frans de Waal (Granta)
  • Spike: The Virus vs. The People – the Inside Story by Jeremy Farrar with Anjana Ahuja (Profile  Books)
  • A (Very) Short History of Life on Earth: 4.6 Billion Years in 12 Pithy Chapters by Dr Henry Gee  (Pan Macmillan)
  • Age Proof: The New Science of Living a Longer and Healthier Life by Professor Rose Anne  Kenny (Bonnier Books)
  • Hot Air: The Inside Story of the Battle Against Climate Change Denial by Professor Peter Stott (Atlantic Books)

The winner of the 2022 Prize will be named at a ceremony at the Royal Society on November 29. The  winner receives £25,000 (US$26,969) with £2,500 (US$2,696) awarded to each of the five shortlisted authors.

This is Publishing Perspectives’ 172nd awards report published in the 179 days since our 2022 operations began on January 3.


More from Publishing Perspectives on international publishing and book awards, including the many contests based in the English market is here. More on the United Kingdom’s market is here, and more on nonfiction is here.

And more from us on the still-ongoing coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is a non-resident fellow of Trends Research & Advisory, and he has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.

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