The PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award celebrates writing that exemplifies literary excellence on the subject of physical and biological sciences. The winner receives a cash award of $10,000 and will be honored at the PEN Literary Awards.
The PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award was founded by scientist and author Dr. Edward O. Wilson, activist and actor Harrison Ford, and the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation. The inaugural award was conferred in 2011.
Examples of published works that exemplify the quality of writing the award is designed to acknowledge include Rachel Carlson’s Silent Spring (1962), Dr. James Watson’s The Double Helix (1969), Lewis Thomas’s The Lives of a Cell (1978), and Douglas Hofstadter’s Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid (1979).
Past winners: Siddhartha Mukherjee and James Gleick.
Judges for 2013: Deborah Blum, Katherine Bouton, and Jerome Groopman
Shortlist for 2013:
The Forest Unseen (Viking), David George Haskell
The Violinist’s Thumb (Little, Brown and Company), Sam Kean
Subliminal (Vintage Books), Leonard Mlodinow
Spillover (W.W. Norton & Co.), David Quammen
Rabid (Viking), Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy