Wellcome Book Prize announces 2017 judging panel


We are delighted to announce that celebrated Scottish crime writer Val McDermid will be the Chair of the Wellcome Book Prize 2017 judging panel, which features leading figures from across the worlds of literature, academia, science and the media.

Val McDermid will be joined on the judging panel by Simon Baron-Cohen, Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at the University of Cambridge; Gemma Cairney, BBC broadcaster and author; Tim Lewens, Professor of Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge; and Di Speirs, Books Editor for BBC Radio.

“I am thrilled and honoured to chair the Wellcome Book Prize 2017, which over the past eight years has celebrated a wealth of extraordinary books that connect literature, health and medicine in a variety of wonderful ways,” said Val. “What also distinguishes this prize is its acknowledgement of the importance of a really good read, whether that comes in the form of fiction or non-fiction, and together with my distinguished fellow judges, I am looking forward to reading and discussing the submissions.”

Worth £30,000, the Wellcome Book Prize celebrates the best new books that engage with an aspect of medicine, health or illness, showcasing the breadth and depth of our encounters with medicine through exceptional works of fiction and non-fiction.

“Chaired by the utterly brilliant Val McDermid, the judging panel for the Wellcome Book Prize 2017 brings together a broad spectrum of expertise that will no doubt lead to many lively discussions about this year’s submissions,” said Kirty Topiwala, Wellcome Collection Publisher and Wellcome Book Prize manager. “It is such a dynamic time for publishing in the genre of health and medicine, and I can’t wait to see what our judging panel considers the best of these new books that explore what it truly means to be human.”

To recognise the breadth, depth and quality of the genre, the Prize will be introducing a longlist of 12 books for the first time, to be announced in January 2017. This will be followed by a shortlist of six books in March 2017, with the winner being announced at a ceremony at Wellcome Collection in April 2017.