England’s Royal Society Science Book Prize 2023 Shortlist

In News by Porter Anderson

With a new five-year sponsorship from the Trivedi Family Foundation, the 35-year-old Royal Society Prize names its 2023 shortlistees.

Image: Royal Science Book Award

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

Journalist Ed Yong Among the Shortlistees
The United Kingdom’s £25,000 (US$30,594) Royal Society Trivedi Science Book Prize‘s 2023 shortlist includes the youngest nominee in the program’s history—and Niklas Brendborg’s Jellyfish Age Backwards is about aging.

The PhD student in molecular biology at the University of Copenhagen is in good company that also highlights the work of the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ed Yong, whose essays during the pandemic were among some of the most compelling written. Yong is a returnee to this awards program’s shortlist, having last been seen there in 2017.

It’s not your imagination that the name of this award has grown. The prize, now supported by the Trivedi Family Foundation in a five-year partnership, also pays £2,500 to each of its shortlistees (US$3,059).

Chaired by Alain Goriely FRS, the 2023 judging panel includes Bonnie Garmus, whose novel Lessons in Chemistry has a television adaptation launching this year; neuroscientist and Royal Society University Research Fellow Rebecca Henry; actor and author Paterson Joseph; and the Daily Telegraph’s arts and entertainment editor Anita Singh.

A winner’s announcement is expected on November 22.

The Royal Society Science Book Prize 2023 Shortlist
  • Nuts and Bolts: Seven Small Inventions That Changed the World (in a Big Way) by Roma Agrawal (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Jellyfish Age Backwards: Nature’s Secrets to Longevity by Nicklas Brendborg, translated by Elizabeth de Noma (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Taking Flight: The Evolutionary Story of Life on the Wing by Lev Parikian (Elliott & Thompson)
  • Breathless: The Scientific Race to Defeat a Deadly Virus by David Quammen (Vintage / The Bodley Head)
  • An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us by Ed Yong (Vintage / Bodley Head)
  • The Exceptions: Nancy Hopkins and the Fight for Women in Science by Kate Zernike (Simon & Schuster)
Past Winners of the Royal Society Book Award
  • 2022: A (Very) Short History of Life on Earth: 4.6 Billion Years in 12 Chapters by Henry Gee
  • 2021: Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds and Shape Our Futures by Merlin Sheldrake
  • 2020: Explaining Humans: What Science Can Teach Us about Life, Love and Relationships by Camilla Pang
  • 2019: Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez
  • 2018: Inventing Ourselves by Sarah-Jayne Blakemore
  • 2017: Testosterone Rex by Cordelia Fine
  • 2016: The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf
  • 2015: Adventures in the Anthropocene by Gaia Vince
  • 2014: Stuff by Mark Miodownik
  • 2013: The Particle at the End of the Universe by Sean Carroll
  • 2012: The Information by James Gleick
  • 2011: The Wavewatcher’s Companion by Gavin Pretor-Pinney
  • 2010: Life Ascending by Nick Lane
  • 2009: The Age of Wonder by Richard Holmes
  • 2008: Six Degrees by Mark Lynas
  • 2007: Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert
  • 2006: Electric Universe by David Bodanis
  • 2005: Critical Mass by Philip Ball
  • 2004: A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
  • 2003: Right Hand, Left Hand by Chris McManus
  • 2002: The Universe in a Nutshell by Stephen Hawking
  • 2001: Mapping the Deep by Robert Kunzig
  • 2000: The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene
  • 1999: The Man Who Loved Only Numbers by Paul Hoffman
  • 1998: Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond
  • 1997: The Wisdom of Bones by Alan Walker and Pat Shipman
  • 1996: Plague’s Progress by Arno Karlen
  • 1995: The Consumer’s Good Chemical Guide by John Emsley
  • 1994: The Language of the Genes by Steve Jones
  • 1993: The Making of Memory by Steven Rose
  • 1992: The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee by Jared Diamond
  • 1991: Wonderful Life by Stephen Jay Gould
  • 1990: The Emperor’s New Mind by Roger Penrose
  • 1989: Bones of Contention by Roger Lewin
  • 1988: Living with Risk by the British Medical Association Board of Science

More from us on publishing and book awards in the international industry is here, and more on the Royal Science Book Award is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson 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 (Fellow, 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.