Ed Yong has won the 2023 Royal Society Trivedi Science Book Prize for An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us, the British fellowship of scientists announced at a ceremony in London on Wednesday.
Yong’s book, published in the U.S. by Random House last year, recounts the ways in which various animals experience senses. The book won the Andrew Carnegie Medal and was a finalist for the Kirkus Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; in a starred review, a critic for Kirkus praised it as “one of the year’s best popular natural histories.”
Alain Goriely, the chair of judges for the award, said in a statement, “Meticulously researched and elegantly presented, this book is a triumph of scientific storytelling, making the intricacies of animal perception both accessible and enthralling. Yong doesn't just inform; he expands our own sensory horizons, humbling and awakening us to the non-human lives that bustle around us.”
Yong said he was “greatly honored” to win the award.
“This is a book about animals for their own sake—a book about curiosity and empathy,” he said. “We could all use a little more empathy in the world, and I think empathy is a muscle that you can build by repeatedly flexing. The fact that so many readers have gravitated towards these themes and found meaning in them means a lot to me.”
The Royal Society Trivedi Science Book Prize was established in 1988. Past winners include Jared Diamond for The Third Chimpanzee, Bill Bryson for A Short History of Nearly Everything, and Caroline Criado Perez for Invisible Women.
Michael Schaub is a contributing writer.