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 America Literary Awards Ceremony.

Finalists

Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets
Luke Dittrich
Penguin Random House
Amazon | Indie Bound

Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History
Dan Flores
Basic Books/Hachette
Amazon | Indie Bound

How to Make a Spaceship: A Band of Renegades, an Epic Race, and the Birth of a Private Spaceflight
Julian Guthrie
Penguin Random House
Amazon | Indie Bound

Lab Girl
Hope Jahren
Alfred A Knopf/Penguin Random House
Amazon | Indie Bound

The Dragon Behind the Glass: A True Story of Power, Obsession, and the World’s Most Coveted Fish
Emily Voigt
Scribner/Simon & Schuster
AmazonIndie Bound

Longlist

The Genius of Birds
Jennifer Ackerman
Penguin Random House
Amazon | Indie Bound
 

What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins
Jonathan Balcombe
Scientific American/Farrar Straus & Giroux
Amazon | Indie Bound
 

Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets
Luke Dittrich
Penguin Random House
Amazon | Indie Bound
 

Engineering Eden: The True Story of a Violent Death, a Trial, and the Fight over Controlling Nature
Jordan Fisher Smith
Crown/Penguin Random House
Amazon | Indie Bound
 

Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History
Dan Flores
Basic Books/Hachette
Amazon | Indie Bound
 

How to Make a Spaceship: A Band of Renegades, an Epic Race, and the Birth of a Private Spaceflight
Julian Guthrie
Penguin Random House
Amazon | Indie Bound
 

Lab Girl
Hope Jahren
Alfred A Knopf/Penguin Random House
Amazon | Indie Bound
 

The Gene: An Intimate History
Siddhartha Mukherjee
Scribner/Simon & Schuster
Amazon | Indie Bound
 

The Glass Universe
Dava Sobel
Viking/Penguin Random House
Amazon | Indie Bound
 

The Dragon Behind the Glass: A True Story of Power, Obsession, and the World’s Most Coveted Fish
Emily Voigt
Scribner/Simon & Schuster
AmazonIndie Bound

 

 

Winner

The winner will be announced on February 22, 2017 and honored at the 2017 PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony on March 27, 2017.

Judges
 

Emily Anthes is a science journalist and author. Her most recent book, Frankenstein’s Cat: Cuddling up to Biotech’s Brave New Beasts, won the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books and was longlisted for the 2014 PEN/E.O Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. Her writing has also appeared in the New York TimesWiredNatureSlate, and elsewhere. She is working on a new book about how indoor spaces shape our health, behavior, and well-being. 

 

Amy Ellis Nutt is a science writer on the national team of The Washington Post and the author of three books, including two New York Times’ bestsellers, Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family and The Teenage Brain with Frances Jensen.  She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Feature Writing in 2011. Nutt has taught at Columbia and Princeton Universities and was a Nieman Fellow in Journalism at Harvard in 2005-2006. 

 

Robin Marantz Henig is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine who has written nine books, including Pandora’s Baby: How the First Test Tube Babies Sparked the Reproductive Revolution and The Monk in the Garden: The Lost and Found Genius of Gregor Mendel. She received a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship in 2010, and since 2013 has been an adjunct professor in the science journalism program at New York University.

 

Emma Marris has written for many magazines and newspapers, including National GeographicDiscover, the New York TimesNature, and Slate. In 2011, she published her first book, Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World. In 2016, she gave at TED talk about seeing the hidden nature that surrounds us and won a National Association of Science Writer’s “Science in Society” award for a commentary in Orion about our responsibility to save species—even at the cost of wildness. She grew up in Seattle, Washington, and lives with her husband and two children in Klamath Falls, Oregon.

 

Past Winners

Siddhartha Mukherjee, James Gleick, Leonard Mlodinow, Dr. Carl Hart, Joshua Horwitz, and Lauren Redniss.

Click here for additional information, including submission guidelines, for the award.