Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Royal Society Prize for Science Books 2010

I am delighted to annouce that God's Philosophers has been shortlisted for the 2010 Royal Society Prize for Science Books. What's more, William Hill are quoting odds and make me the 3:1 favourite to win! The winner is announced on 21 October.

The full short list is:

A World Without Ice by Henry Pollack

Explores the relationship between ice and people – the impact of ice on Earth, its climate, and its human residents, as well as the reciprocal impact that people are now having on ice and the climate.

Everyday Practice of Science: Where Intuition and Passion Meet Objectivity and Logic by Frederick Grinnell

An insiders’ view of real-life scientific practice describing how scientists bring their own interests and passions to their work and illustrating the dynamics between researchers and the research community.

God’s Philosophers: How the medieval world laid the foundations of modern science by James Hannam

Revives the forgotten philosophers, scientists, scholars and inventors of medieval Europe, revealing the Medieval Age to be responsible for inventions and ideas that would change the world forever.

Life Ascending by Nick Lane

Charts the history of life on Earth by describing the ten greatest inventions of life, based on their historical impact, their importance in living organisms and their iconic power.

We Need To Talk About Kelvin by Marcus Chown

Takes familiar features of the world we know and shows how they can be used to explain profound truths about the ultimate nature of reality. Read the Focus review.

Why Does E=mc2? by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw

An illuminating journey to the frontier of 21st century science to consider the real meaning behind Einstein’s most famous equation, E = mc2.

Discuss this post at the Quodlibeta Forum

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!!!!

Best wishes,
Marcus Chown

Humphrey said...

^^^Hello there Marcus

Thanks for 'Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You'. Thought it was a great read.

Oh and congratulations James!

Ignorance said...

Congratulations! May your odds come true!

The fact they listed odds struck me as remarkable, though. Now though the English do have something akin to a reputation on the European level for being avid bettors, I didn't know they had bookies for science book prizes. ;)

Jim S. said...

That's great, congrats! Where do I place my bet?

TheOFloinn said...

Congrats

deef said...

Congrats James!

Anonymous said...

As the sage once said:

"YEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAHHHHH BOOOOOOOOOOY!"

*ahem*

Well done, Dr. Hannam!

Anonymous said...

Let's hope Richard does find out about this and throw a hissy fit.

Suburbanbanshee said...

Some people have money,
Some people have acres,
You happen to have
Both a book and bookmakers.

:)

Good luck!

Tim O'Neill said...

Congratulations James.

The timing of your shortlisting was also useful. Over the last few days some fanatics on the IMDB forum for the film Agora have desperately been trying to argue that there was a library in the Serapeum when the mob destroyed it. Naturally they have turned to blog posts by a certain "Richard Carrier", who seems to be an unemployed anti-Christian preacher of some kind.

Anyway, on finding that my arguments against this parallels yours, they first declared that I was actually you (!!?) pretending to be an atheist (!!?). When that was too stupid to sustain, they resorted to calling you a "fringe theorist" and an "unknown part-time historian" etc. I was told that I only gave your book a good review because I was a "crypto-Christian" at worst and "a fawning sycophant" at best.

So I noted your short-listing and asked if this made the Royal Society a group of "sycophants" who supported "fringe theories". I then asked if Carrier had self-published any more of his little vanity projects via lulu.com.

That made at leastt one of them back-pedal faster than the Tour de France ...

*evil chuckle*

Doctor Mirabilis said...

Congratulations Dr. Hannam! Your work really deserves recognition.

Tim O'Neill said:
"The timing of your shortlisting was also useful. Over the last few days some fanatics on the IMDB forum for the film Agora have desperately been trying to argue that there was a library in the Serapeum when the mob destroyed it. Naturally they have turned to blog posts by a certain "Richard Carrier", who seems to be an unemployed anti-Christian preacher of some kind."

That was a truly hilarious thread. Those two anti-Christians ideologues had to resort to every kind of insult and smear against Tim and you in order to defend their precious film. Here: IMDb: Boards: Agora (2009).

By the way, Dr. Hannam, regarding the Serapeum library is there any kind of scholarly consensus about its destruction? One of the ideologues post a link of the BBC radio programme In Our Time about the library of Alexandria (broadcasted on March 12th 2009) where the historian Serafina Cuomo pronounced the following statement: "There are reports that the Christians burned a library which was more likely to be not the big library of Alexandria, but a smaller library around the temple of Serapis." I e-mailed her about this and she realised that she was wrong.

Meanwhile, I also found this intriguing piece of information in the site The Free Copts - Who Burned the Historic Bibliotheca Alexandrina?: "In the year 391 AD, some of Alexandria’s Christians were encouraged by Pope Theophilus of Alexandria to destroy the pagan temple of the Serapeum and to build a church over its ruins. Yet, the destruction of the Serapeum did not affect its attached library, most probably because it included many original versions of Christian and Jewish books, in addition to other scientific books that were of equal interest to both pagan and Christian scholars. Thus, until the end of the sixth century AD, one finds many historical references to the existence of the Serapeum library in Alexandria. One of these references is the Alexandrian philosopher Ammonius’ description of this library and the books it contained, such as two copies of Aristotle’s the Categories."

What do you think?

James said...

Thanks guys. I'll let you know how it goes. And that thread at IMDB defied belief...

Tim O'Neill said...

BTW I saw a stack of about 15 copies of the paperback edition on the new book display in Abbey's Bookshop in Sydney. Looking very handsome with the new red cover I must say.

Bernard said...

Getting married this Friday, finally picked up a copy for my honeymoon reading. Future wife just picked it up and said "this is a fabulous book, looks well worth reading". High praise.

Eckadimmock said...

I just bought one at the University of New South Wales bookshop. Haven't really got into it yet, but looks good so far.