Ed Yong’s debut, I Contain Multitudes, has been shortlisted for the 2017 Wellcome Prize. The prize celebrates books which engage with the topics of health and medicine, and the many ways they touch our lives.
Chair of judges Val McDermid hailed the 2017 shortlist as one which will “shift perceptions”. She said: “One of the ways we communicate is to bring things down to a human level and it’s important for science to communicate to non-scientists… There will be people who read one of the books on this list and it will change their lives.”
I Contain Multitudes is the only debut book on the shortlist. The Wellcome Prize calls it: “An exciting and genre-busting book on microbes, one of science’s hottest topics, by a debut writer with a huge following.”
In I Contain Multitudes, Ed Yong opens our eyes and invites us to marvel at ourselves and other animals in a new light, less as individuals and more as thriving ecosystems.
We learn the invisible and wondrous science behind the corals that construct mighty reefs and the squid that create their own light shows. We see how bacteria can alter our response to cancer-fighting drugs, tune our immune system, influence our evolution and even modify our genetic make-up. And we meet the scientists who are manipulating these microscopic partners to our advantage.
In a million tiny ways, I Contain Multitudes will radically change how you think about the natural world, and how you see yourself.
The overall winner of the prize will be announced on 24th April 2017.