Caspar Henderson

Interviews by Caspar Henderson

The Best Science Books of 2020: The Royal Society Book Prize, recommended by Anne Osbourn

The Royal Society is the world’s oldest independent scientific academy, dedicated to promoting excellence in science—and that includes an annual prize for the best popular science book. Here Professor Anne Osbourn, Fellow of the Royal Society and chair of this year’s judging panel, talks us through the six books that made the 2020 shortlist—and what makes them intriguing, accessible and exciting.

The Royal Society Science Book Prize: the 2019 shortlist, recommended by Nigel Shadbolt

“Science is a profoundly human endeavour. The stories of triumph and success in science, alongside the failures and despair, are compelling.” From a data-driven account of air pollution to a book that makes calculus fun, 2019 has been a great year for science books. Nigel Shadbolt, chair of judges, discusses the six books shortlisted for the 2019 Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize.

The best books on Climate Change and Uncertainty, recommended by Kate Marvel

‘When we talk about climate change, we sometimes assume people will be swayed by one more graph, one more coherent argument. But that’s not how people work. More facts don’t change minds, and deeply held views don’t always dictate behaviour.’ How, then, to grapple with a future that ‘might be weirder than we realise’? Kate Marvel, Associate Research Scientist at Columbia University and NASA, recommends an essential reading list for those ready to confront climate change and the uncertainties it brings

The best books on The Politics of Climate Change, recommended by Naomi Oreskes

‘We’re on a path that is going to lead to tremendous destruction and yet most of us are going about our lives as if nothing particularly special is happening.’ The science of climate change is incontrovertible but deniers persist and political and economic solutions continue to be – systematically – frustrated. Time is running out, says Naomi Oreskes