RVC professor chairs the Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize

Professor Alan Wilson poses with cheetahs and the Structure and Motion Lab resea

Professor Alan Wilson poses with cheetahs and the Structure and Motion Lab research aircraft while filming a segment for Big Cats with the BBC. Photo ©BBC/Stuart Dunn

The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) is delighted to share that Professor Alan Wilson, Professor of Locomotor Biomechanics is serving as the Chair for the Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize this year.

The prize celebrates the best science books for under-14s and aims to encourage young readers to satisfy their curiosity by immersing themselves in the world of science, with this year’s finalists including books that help readers discover how an insect diet could help the planet and how women have contributed to life-changing scientific discoveries.

Professor Wilson, who is also a Fellow of the Royal Society, is joined by a panel of judges including, award-winning author, Nathan Byron; primary school science teacher, Dr Katharine Pemberton; children’s author and winner of the 2020 Young People’s Book Prize, Izzi Howell; and Dr Tiffany Taylor, an evolutionary biologist and children’s author.

Together the judges reviewed several books before selecting a shortlist of six books for the Prize, all of which will now be sent to 700 schools, science clubs and groups across the UK where more than 15,000 young readers will also judge the books before declaring a winner.

The shortlisted books for the Young People’s Book Prize 2022, are:

  • Beetles for Breakfast...and Other Weird and Wonderful Ways to Save The Planet by Madeleine Finlay, illustrated by Jisu Choi
  • Fantastically Great Women Scientists and Their Stories by Kate Pankhurst
  • Fourteen Wolves by Catherine Barr, illustrated by Jenni Desmond
  • How Was That Built? by Roma Agrawal, illustrated by Katie Hickey
  • If the World Were 100 People by Jackie McCann, illustrated by Aaron Cushley
  • Microbe Wars by Gill Arbuthnott, illustrated by Marianna Madriz


Professor Alan Wilson, Professor of Locomotor Biomechanics at the RVC, Fellow of the Royal Society and Chair of this year’s Young People’s Book Prize, said:

"The books included in the shortlist this year will take you all the way from the top of the tallest skyscraper to the underground den of a family of wolves. I am pleased to see the exciting range of titles available, and I hope the young judges enjoy the shortlist as much as we did."

The Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize is made possible thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor.

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