Announcing the Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize, 2016

November 25, 2016 | Jeannette

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Founded in 1988, the Royal Society Science Book Prize celebrates outstanding science books from around the world. Securing a new sponsor this year, the prize is now known as the Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize.

And the winner of the Science Book Prize for 2016 is...

The Invention of Nature

The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World by Andrea Wulf

Also available: audiobook  |  eBook  |  eAudiobook

In The Invention of Nature, Andrea Wulf reveals the forgotten life of Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859), the visionary German naturalist whose ideas changed the way we see the natural world.

Here are the shortlisted books for 2016:


Cure: A Journey into the Science of Mind Over Body by Jo Marchant

Also available: eBook

Scientists have been uncovering evidence that our thoughts, emotions and beliefs can impact the way our body functions. In Cure, Jo Marchant explores the vast potential of the mind's ability to heal, acknowledges its limitations and explains how we can make use of the findings in our own lives.


The Gene

The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Also available: large print  |  audiobook  |  eBook  |  eAudiobook

In The Gene, Siddhartha Mukherjee attempts to understand human heredity and its surprising influence on our lives, personalities, identities, fates and choices. Throughout the narrative, the story of Mukherjee’s own family reminds us of the difficulty of translating the science of genetics from the laboratory to the real world.


The Hunt for Vulcan

The Hunt for Vulcan: ...And How Albert Einstein Destroyed a Planet, Discovered Relativity and Deciphered the Universe by Thomas Levenson

Also available: eBook  |  eBook (2nd copy)

For more than 50 years, scientists searched for the “missing” planet Vulcan. There was just one problem: it never existed. In The Hunt for Vulcan, Thomas Levenson follows the visionary scientists who chased after the phantom planet and recounts one of the strangest episodes in the history of science.


The Most Perfect Thing

The Most Perfect Thing: Inside (and Outside) a Bird's Egg by T. R. Birkhead

In The Most Perfect Thing, Tim Birkhead uses birds’ eggs as a portal into natural history. Along the way, stories of naturalists and scientists, including those of Birkhead and his students, explore the vital role of the study of birds’ to understanding human reproduction.


The Planet Remade

The Planet Remade: How Geoengineering Could Change the World by Oliver Morton

In The Planet Remade, Oliver Morton explores the history, politics and science of geoengineering and considers the promise and dangers of these controversial strategies in response to global warming.