September 2011

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BSLS Book Prize

The British Society for Literature and Science is pleased to invite nominations for the annual BSLS Book Prize. The prize of £150, together with a year’s free membership of the BSLS, will be awarded for the best book published in English in 2011 in the field of literature and science. Monographs, edited volumes, editions and books of creative writing are all eligible for consideration, excepting books wholly or partly written by members of the BSLS executive.

Please send nominations, giving the author(s) or editor(s), title and publisher, to Dr John Holmes (book-prize convenor) at, with ‘BSLS Book Prize’ as the subject heading. The deadline for receipt of nominations is 16 January 2012.

* The book prize was launched in 2007. The past winners are Ralph O’Connor for ‘The Earth on Show: Fossils and the Poetics of Popular Science, 1802-1856′ (University of Chicago Press, 2007); George Levine for ‘Realism, Ethics and Secularism: Essays on Victorian Literature and Science’ (Cambridge University Press, 2008); Leah Knight for ‘Of Books and Botany in Early Modern England: Sixteenth-Century Plants and Print Culture’ (Ashgate, 2009); and Sally Shuttleworth for ‘The Mind of the Child: Child Development in Literature, Science, and Medicine, 1840-1900’ (Oxford University Press, 2010).

* Nominations are invited from BSLS members and from publishers. The authors or editors of the nominated books need not be BSLS members. BSLS members are welcome to nominate their own books.

* The book must have 2011 as its publication date.

* The winner of this year’s prize will be announced at the next annual conference of the BSLS in April 2012.

* The prize will be paid by means of a cheque made out in pounds sterling.

Applications are invited for BSLS small grants to advance and/or promote the study of literature and science. Examples of things for which the awards might be used are expenses for visiting speakers, seminar series and debates, and other funding to stage events on literature and science. The scope of the scheme is being widened also to provide funding in the form of contributions toward conference fees and travel (within the UK) for special BSLS panels at conferences (in these cases, all panellists should be members of BSLS and acknowledgement of sponsorship of the panel by the British Society for Literature and Science should be included in the conference programme or equivalent).

Applicants should be members of BSLS (with membership paid for 2011) and should apply by making a case, in up to 300 words, for how the award will contribute to the development of literature and science; a brief costing should be appended to the end of the application. Where funding is sought for BSLS panels a clear indication of the scope of the panel, and of its contribution to the understanding of literature and science, should be included; applications for panels at the 2012 BSLS conference are not eligible.

The application should be e-mailed, as a Word attachment, to the BSLS Treasurer, Daniel Cordle (, by 30 October 2011. Applications will be considered by the BSLS Executive Committee and a total of up to £400 will be awarded. Applicants may apply for any amount up to £400. Successful applicants will be informed in November; in some instances a proportion of the amount applied for may be awarded. Queries about the scheme may be directed to Daniel Cordle, but no correspondence will be entered into about the decisions of the Committee. International members of BSLS are welcome to apply for the awards, but should note that they will be distributed in the form of bank cheques made out in pounds sterling. Serving members of the BSLS Executive Committee are not eligible to apply for the awards.