Good news

I’ve only just discovered this, but the worm book has been long-listed for the Aventis Prize. It won’t win, of course, but it would be nice to make the shortlist alongside the likes of Dan Dennett, Matt Ridley, Francis Spufford (who told me about it), Bill Bryson and Simon Baron-Cohen. I’m surprised and dismayed that Oliver Morton‘s _Mapping Mars_ didn’t make it. The prize for the most ambitious title, in the face of stiff competition, goes to Sex, Botany, and Empire, a book about Joseph Banks and Carl von Linné. Botany I can see. Empire, I can see: without it, Banks would not have got breadfruit, and Linnaeus got no further than Lapland. But sex? Did the two men exchange genetic material?

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1 Response to Good news

  1. congratulations, and worry not for me — I was eligible last year, not this. IIRC, they didn’t publish a longlist that time.

    How nice it would be to see you and Francis and Matt together — and Dennett, too, for that matter. But I am rather shocked that Gabrielle Walker was not listed, because Snowball Earth is a very good book, which has a clarity and a clearheadedness about what to say (and when) of which I’m more than a little envious. To leave it off the longlist while complaining there aren’t enough books by women seems really weird to me.

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