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Dating Mammalian Evolution

Fri, 28 Mar 2014 15:14:37 +0000

When the age of the dinosaurs ended around 65 million years ago, mammals stepped in to fill the gap, and the age of the placentals began. However, whether early placental mammals were already present on Earth before the demise of the dinosaurs has been the subject of a long standing debate. Recent research in GEE [...]


The Delicate Balance of Effect and Response

Tue, 18 Feb 2014 11:50:36 +0000

We may not always be aware of it, but many wild plants, animals, fungi and even bacteria, provide crucial services to us which keep the ecosystems of Earth functioning. Environmental changes caused by human activities are now threatening many species, and those that cannot withstand these changes may be lost forever, potentially taking the services [...]


It’s All in the Wrist

Fri, 20 Dec 2013 16:18:20 +0000

The evolution of the primate wrist has been dramatic, enabling primates to adapt to a wide variety of lifestyles and walking styles, including tree-swinging, climbing and terrestrial walking both on four legs and two. In hominids, the evolution of the bipedal gait freed up the forelimbs for tool use, and the wrist evolved independently from [...]


The Transcriptional Profile of A ‘Wingman’

Wed, 27 Nov 2013 14:25:48 +0000

In many species, males have special adaptations to attract females. From antlers to stalk-eyes, to bright plumage and beards, males across the animal kingdom work hard to look attractive to the opposite sex. In some species, looking good isn’t enough, though. Male wild turkeys need a less attractive ‘wingman’ to help him attract a woman. [...]


Damage and Fidelity: The Role of the Female Germline in mtDNA Inheritance

Mon, 11 Nov 2013 15:13:12 +0000

Billions of years ago, one single-celled organism engulfed another, beginning a symbiotic interaction that would change live on Earth forever. The mitochondria are what remains of this symbiotic event, and are responsible for producing energy in all eukaryotic cells. Derived from a free-living organism, they carry their own genes, but these genes are at risk [...]


2 GEE authors on long list for Royal Society Prize for Science Books

16 June 2010

Subject: Royal Society Prize for Science Books Longlist Announced

Royal Society Prize for Science Books Longlist Announced
Winner to be announced: 21ST October 2010

The longlist for this year's Royal Society Prize for Science Books - the
world's most prestigious award for science writing - has been announced,
today (Wednesday 16th June 2010).  The judges selected a longlist of twelve

We Need To Talk About Kelvin by Marcus Chown (Faber and Faber)
The judges said: "We found ourselves applying ideas from this book to the
world around us, turning suppositions on their heads and understanding
complicated scientific concepts far more easily than we expected.

Why Does E=mc2? By Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw (Da Capo Press, Perseus Books
The judges said: "It's the most famous equation that exists but few people
actually know what it means.  This book could change that - it's beautifully
written and not afraid to tackle really challenging physics."

Why Evolution is True by Jerry A. Coyne (Oxford University Press)
The judges said: "There are lots of books on Darwin and evolution, but this
is a marvellous entry point - really engaging with wonderful historical

In Search of the Multiverse by John Gribbin (Allen Lane, Penguin Press)
The judges said: "This is a book that aims to tackle difficult, complex
questions in physics and succeeds, managing to both explain things and leave
us pondering the subject for days afterwards."

Everyday Practice of Science: Where Intuition and Passion Meet Objectivity
and Logic by Frederick Grinnell (Oxford University Press)
The judges said: "Don't be put off by the cover, this is the most accessible
and comprehensible book on how science is done that we've ever come across -
indispensible to anyone who wants to understand the science behind the

God's Philosophers: How the medieval world laid the foundations of modern
science by James Hannam (Icon Books)
The judges said: "This book is a revelation, contradicting the popular idea
of the Middle Ages as the "dark" ages, mapping key progressions during an
era none of us associate with scientific advances and celebrating the lesser
known mathematicians, "philosophers" and anatomists on whose shoulders
modern science stands.

Storms of My Grandchildren by James Hansen (Bloomsbury)
The judges said: "This book, from a key figure in climate science offers
first hand insight into the politics and vested interest that surrounds the
debate. An excellent, authoritative and important history of climate change
research, written in an engaging way."

Darwin's Island: The Galapagos in the Garden of England by Steve Jones
(Little, Brown)
The judges said: "Many books on Darwin focus on the Galapagos as if Darwin
came home and that was it. This book redresses the balance, delving into
ideas Darwin developed from his studies of the English countryside that
surrounded him."

Life Ascending by Nick Lane (Profile Books)
The judges said: "This book is a well thought out exploration of the
building blocks of biological science - straightforward and convincing."

The Master and his Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western
World by Iain McGilchrist (Yale University Press)
The judges said: "McGilchrist welcomes you straight into his world, without
making too many presumptions about what you already know, presenting
beautiful ideas in an eminently readable and engrossing manner."

Complexity: A Guided Tour by Melanie Mitchell (Oxford University Press)
The judges said: "This book does a great job of connecting different fields
to provide an accessible, interdisciplinary introduction to the complicated
subject of complexity."

A World Without Ice by Henry Pollack (Avery Books, Penguin Group)
The judges said: "This book gives a clear historical picture of the
relationship between ice and climate . A very accessible and powerful
perspective on climate change.

Maggie Philbin, Chair of the judges, said: "There were some fascinating
books in this year's entries, all of which explore science in very different
ways.  Narrowing it down to just twelve was very challenging and left us
with a wonderful, diverse longlist that we're all looking forward to really
getting our teeth into.

This year's longlist includes eight authors who are new to the prize, three
who have been previously shortlisted and one previous winner (Steve Jones,
who won in 1994).

The judges on the judging panel are: Maggie Philbin, Radio and television
presenter (Chair); Professor Tim Birkhead, Fellow of the Royal Society;
Tracy Chevalier, author; Robin Ince, stand-up comedian, writer and actor; Dr
Janet Anders, Royal Society University Research Fellow.

The shortlist will be announced on 24th August 2010. The winner will be
announced at a ceremony at the Royal Society on 21st October 2010 and
awarded £10,000. The authors of each shortlisted book will receive £1000.

Page last modified on 16 jun 10 09:54