James Kingsland 

Bryson explains why he wrote A Short History of Nearly Everything – video

The author of Notes from a Small Island and The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid talks about writers' irrepressible urge to share 'amazing information'
  
  

What possessed self-confessed "terrible science student" Bill Bryson to write a book about the science of everything?

All writing is "an instinct to share amazing information" he explains in this short film from the Wellcome Trust, and "science is fundamentally amazing."

Needless to say he sought the help and advice of numerous scientists when he wrote A Short History of Nearly Everything. But he has some words of warning for all writers of popular science. "Just because something is important doesn't mean people will read it ... you have an obligation to entertain as well as instruct."

So did he bite off more than he could chew? Apparently not. A Short History of Nearly Everything won the Aventis Prize for Science Books in 2004 and the Descartes Science Communication Prize in 2005.

Enter the Wellcome Trust Science Writing Prize in association with the Guardian and the Observer

 

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