22 May 2008

2008 Royal Society of New Zealand Manhire Prize for Creative Science Writing

I received the following email yesterday from the Royal Society. The inaugural Manhire Prize competition was held in 2007, and you can read the fiction and non-fiction winners online.

This year's topic is evolution. The Royal Society says:

We encourage you to enter the 2008 Royal Society of New Zealand Manhire Prize for Creative Science Writing. The theme for 2008 is evolution, in honour of Charles Darwin.

Next year is the 150th anniversary of his birth, and the 200th anniversary of the publication of The Origin of Species. But it was on 1 July 1858, the joint Wallace-Darwin paper was read to the Linnaean Society, and was thus launched to the science community.

The topic you are asked to respond to is:

"The Universe makes rather an indifferent parent, I'm afraid," said Dickens' kindly Mr Jarndyce. Humans have evolved to understand and intervene in the unsentimental processes of nature. With some unfortunate and unintended consequences. Back to nature or on to the future?

Remember, there are fiction and non fiction categories, prizes of $2500 for each, and the winning entries will be published in the New Zealand Listener. Entries close 15 August, 2008. For full details see the Listener just out, or go to

If you have any enquiries, call Glenda Lewis, 04 470 5758, or email glenda.lewis (at) rsnz.org

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