2015 judging panel announced


Bill Bryson has today been announced as the chair of the Wellcome Book Prize judging panel and will be joined by leading figures from the worlds of literature, academia, science and the media to create a truly exceptional panel.

Bill Bryson

Prof. Uta Frith DBE, the Emeritus Professor of Cognitive Development at UCL, bestselling author Mark Haddon, BBC presenter Razia Iqbal, and barrister and broadcaster Baroness Helena Kennedy QC will join Bryson to judge the Prize for 2015.

Relaunched in 2014 with the strapline 'Books for the incurably curious', the Wellcome Book Prize celebrates the very best books published in the UK during the Prize year – both fiction and non-fiction – with a medical theme; books that challenge our curiosity, fire our imagination, inspire debate, and help us to think differently about the world around us.

Chair of judges for 2015 Bill Bryson comments: "I am naturally honoured and excited to be taking part in the Wellcome Book Prize, and am especially excited to be working with such a distinguished panel of judges."

Ken Arnold, Head of Public Programmes at Wellcome Collection, said: “We are thrilled to announce this panel of exceptionally talented judges for the 2015 Wellcome Book Prize. Our judges have an enormously exciting and stimulating task ahead, as they seek out books that reward curiosity, inspire debate, move us, and challenge the ways in which we imagine ourselves and the world.”

Previous winners of the Wellcome Book Prize have been Andrew Solomon for 'Far From the Tree: A dozen kinds of love' in 2014, Thomas Wright for 'Circulation' in 2012, Alice LaPlante for 'Turn of Mind' in 2011, Rebecca Skloot for 'The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks' in 2010, and Andrea Gillies for 'Keeper: Living with Nancy – A journey into Alzheimer's' in 2009.

The Wellcome Book Prize, worth £30,000, is celebrated through the spring, with the shortlist announcement taking place in March and the winner announced at the end of April. Wellcome Collection, the home of the Wellcome Book Prize, will also see exciting developments with the newly transformed Reading Room due to open as a public space in spring 2015 as part of a £17.5 million development of the venue.