Suffolk geneticist in the running for prestigious Wellcome Book Prize

Adam Rutherford has been longlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize

Adam Rutherford has been longlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize - Credit: Archant

Ipswich author and broadcaster Adam Rutherford has been put forward for a Wellcome Book Award.

His book is one of 12 in the running for the £30,000 prize which aims to shine a light on the very best in fiction and non-fiction touching the topic of health and medicine.

A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Stories in our genes is a fascinating look at the expanding landscape of genetics although Mr Rutherford describes it as more of a history book.

“DNA and the genome is a logbook of all our ancestors,” he said.

“Over the last couple of years we have developed a way to look at our genome and DNA and using that we can check and verify what we know from the history of our species.

““I am a scientist but this is more like a history book.”

Kirty Topiwala, Wellcome Book Prize Manager, said this year’s prize nominations were ‘extremely strong’.

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“We were deluged with submissions for the prize this year and so are delighted to be reintroducing a longlist for the 2017 Wellcome Book Prize and celebrating even more of these superb books.

“This is an extremely strong longlist, characterised by the trademark eclecticism of the prize – each of these books grapples uniquely and eloquently with complex, moving and profoundly human subjects.”

A genetic scientist, Mr Rutherford, 42, was born and raised in Ipswich.

During his PHD at University College London he was part of a team that identified the first genetic cause of a form of childhood blindness.

He has written and presented award winning series and programmes for the BBC including the flagship weekly Radio 4 programme Inside Science as well as writing science articles for the Guardian newspaper.

Crime author Val McDermid, who chairs the judging panel for the Wellcome Book Prize, said: “The challenge of judging the Wellcome Book Prize is that we have all had to read outside our own areas of expertise.

“That makes demands both of the judges and of the books.

“This longlist is evidence of the breadth, humanity and creativity at work in the submissions for the prize, and we commend each of these 12 books for your reading pleasure.”

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