Bryson wins science book prize

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Brian the Snail
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Bryson wins science book prize

Post by Brian the Snail » Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:36 am

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3806375.stm
The American travel writer Bill Bryson has won the prestigious 2004 Aventis Prize for popular science books.

His publication, called A Short History Of Nearly Everything, is an exploration of science for someone who found school lessons "boring and mystifying".

Mr Bryson was presented with a cheque for £10,000 during a gala dinner at the Royal Society in London on Monday.

The judging panel said the writer had communicated science "in an intelligent and highly accessible way".
Although I haven't read the other nominated books, I thought that this was a worthy winner. One thing I especially liked about the book was the way in this he emphasized the scientific process and discussed inherent uncertainties in science. This isn't often communicated well in popular science writing, leading to some misconceptions of science in the general public.

Given that it's Bryson's first foray into science writing, I thought that it was a pretty remarkable achievement.

The other nominated books were:
# In The Beginning Was The Worm, by Andrew Brown
# Magic Universe, by Nigel Calder
# Mutants, by Armand Marie Leroi
# Nature Via Nurture, by Matt Ridley
# Backroom Boys, by Francis Spufford
Anybody read any of the books? Any views?

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Brown
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Post by Brown » Tue Jun 15, 2004 9:47 pm

Bryson's book is very good. I spotted a couple of errors in it, but on the whole, it provides a good discussion of a wide variety of sceintific topics in lay terms.

Plus, I got to learn about the Manson crater. I've visited Manson (Iowa), but never knew I was in a crater.

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Hexxenhammer
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Post by Hexxenhammer » Tue Jun 15, 2004 9:55 pm

Ok, You've brow-beaten me into it, but I'm reading this book next. My mom bought it for my dad, who says he'll never get around to reading it, so she gave it to me.
"I'll have the roast duck with the mango salsa."

Larry Barrieau
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Post by Larry Barrieau » Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:27 pm

I had Bryson's book on CD (unabridged). It was spoken by a Brit which was at first odd, but then became very nice. It was a great way to pass the time on a long solo drive.

sextile
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Post by sextile » Sun Jun 20, 2004 11:04 am

Larry:That 'Brit' may be Bryson,who grew up in the midwest but spent
a couple of decades working in the UK and (at least as of 'Walk in
the Woods')still had a semi-Brit accent.
How many a dispute could have been deflated
into a single paragraph if the disputants had dared to define their terms.-Aristotle

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Doc Dish
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Post by Doc Dish » Tue Jun 22, 2004 2:03 pm

sextile wrote:Larry:That 'Brit' may be Bryson,who grew up in the midwest but spent
a couple of decades working in the UK and (at least as of 'Walk in
the Woods')still had a semi-Brit accent.
Has he not now moved back to the UK?

I wonder if I listened to that tape, whether I would assume it was an American reading it?
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