We are absolutely delighted to hear that Ed Yong has been awarded the £25,000 Royal Society Trivedi Science Book Prize for An Immense World.
Awarded a LoveReading Star Book, Liz Robinson advised when she read it earlier this year: "Step out into the unknown with this absolutely stunning foray into our world through the senses of animals."
"Just a little bit mind-blowing, this immensely fascinating and satisfying book kicks known thoughts out into free-fall. While I love nature and often seek it out, I’ve never really thought beyond my own senses and viewpoint. Here he takes you into the senses of other animals and lets you use them. It’s completely wonderful, and eye-opening (you will also note how often we use words connected to our main senses). He encourages you to think beyond now, to what the future could be. We have to look beyond ourselves to appreciate the damage we are sometimes unwittingly causing to ecosystems. Conservationists are able to make huge changes by seeing the world as though they are the animal rather than from a human viewpoint."
As Ed Yong states, how do we solve a problem that we don’t realise exists, sensory pollution can be reduced but societal responsibility needs to be motivated enough to make the changes. He shows us that we have the gift to be able to appreciate the differences in animal senses and how it affects everything on our planet.
The announcement was made during a ceremony at the Royal Society in London hosted by journalist, writer and broadcaster Samira Ahmed. The author won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the Covid-19 pandemic during his time as staff writer for the Atlantic. He is also the author of I Contain Multitudes, which was shortlisted for The Royal Society Science Book Prize in 2017.
The five-strong panel of judges hailed the winning book as a "fascinating journey of discovery" and an "exploration of evolution, behavioural science, physics and neuroscience". They praised Yong for his "exceptionally well-written and structured narrative" and for the research that he underwent in the process of writing the book.
Yong said: “I feel greatly honoured that my book has been added to the parade of incredible books that I have watched win this prize. I’ve been fascinated by the way animals perceive the world around them for the longest time. This is a book about animals for their own sake — a book about curiosity and empathy.
"We could all use a little more empathy in the world, and I think empathy is a muscle that you can build by repeatedly flexing. The fact that so many readers have gravitated towards these themes and found meaning in them means a lot to me.”
Yong will be presented with a cheque for £25,000, with the other five shortlisted authors due to receive £2,500. Last year’s winner was Henry Gee, for A (Very) Short History of Life on Earth.