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New Award: Royal Society of New Zealand Science Book Prize

The Royal Society of New Zealand, the nation's national science academy, has established a popular science book prize. The prize is $10,000 for the (New Zealand resident) author/s and $2500 for the publisher.

The judges are: Professor Jean Fleming, University of Otago; Professor Harry Ricketts, Victoria University of Wellington; and Professor Brian Boyd, The University of Auckland.  The shortlist will be announced at the end of March.

The definition of popular science books, for the purpose of this prize, is: books about science which do not require a specialist knowledge in the subject of the book in order to be read, enjoyed and understood.

Books which are essentially illustrative, reference and children’s books will not be eligible for the prize.

For further information, please contact Faith Atkins, Royal Society of New Zealand, faith.atkins@royalsociety.org.nz  DDI (04) 470 5781

The Awa Book of New Zealand ScienceInaugural Royal Society of New Zealand Science Book Prize Winner

  Winner:  The Awa Book of New Zealand Science edited by Rebecca Priestley (Awa Press)

An anthology of writing that traces the development of New Zealand science and the extraordinary discoveries made by New Zealand scientists.

The fifty pieces include the early naturalists' observations, geological accounts of the famous pink and white terraces, Ernest Rutherford’s splitting of the atom, modern breakthroughs in nanotechnology, and the recent discovery of an extra-solar planet

Falling For Science: Asking the Big Questions | Hot Topic: Global Warming and the Future of New Zealand | In Search of Ancient New Zealand | Wetlands of New Zealand: A Bittersweet Story

Other Shortlisted
Falling For Science: Asking the Big Questions by Bernard Beckett (Longacre Press)

What is consciousness? Is evolution compatible with traditional religion? Does time exist or is it just our way of ordering experiences? Could a machine ever think? Modern science has unravelled the mystery of life, seen back to the dawn of time and peered down into the weird world of quantum mechanics. Small wonder then that people now look to science to answer the big metaphysical questions.


Hot Topic: Global Warming and the Future of New Zealand by Gareth Renowden (AUT Media)

Using the latest evidence from the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report, Gareth Renowden puts climate change into its New Zealand context. He examines how the science suggests New Zealand’s climate will change, what current and future governments can do to address the problem, and how individuals and businesses can respond to the challenge.


In Search of Ancient New Zealand by Hamish Campbell and Gerard Hutching (Penguin)

Palaeontologist Hamish Campbell and natural history writer Gerard Hutching present an exciting new account of New Zealand's evolution. From 3-billion-year-old grains of sand found in present-day rocks to the drowning and uplift which gave rise to today's landscapes, this new book traces our absorbing geological story. Brilliantly illustrated with photographs and state-of-the-art digital imagery from GNS Science.

Wetlands of New Zealand: A Bittersweet Story by Janet Hunt (Random House).

New Zealand’s wetlands are endangered environments that harbour all manner of beautiful and rare flora and fauna. Janet Hunt’s book describes what wetlands do, what lives there - plants, aquatic life, birds and animals - and looks at their conservation and restoration. This book won the Environment Category of the Montana Book Awards, and the Montana Medal for Non-Fiction in 2008.

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