2013 Lane Anderson Award Shortlist: Celebrating the Best Science Writing in Canada

One of the highlights of the year for me is the Lane Anderson Award shortlist announcement.

From their website here and here:

The Lane Anderson designation honours the maiden names of Robert Fitzhenry's mother, Margaret Lane, and his wife, Hilda Anderson Fitzhenry. The Fitzhenry Family Foundation is a privately directed Canadian foundation established in 1987 by Canadian publisher Robert I. Fitzhenry (1918-2008).

The Lane Anderson Award will be administered by Christopher Alam, a partner at the law firm of Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP.

The annual Lane Anderson Award will honour two jury-selected books, adult and young reader, published in the field of science by Canadian-owned publishers, and authored by Canadians. The winner in each category will receive $10,000.

Two three-person jury panels drawn from the Canadian academic, publishing, creative and institutional fields will review submissions in the two categories.

I also like the text I used from their website last year:

The Lane Anderson Award honours the very best science writing in Canada today, both in the adult and young-reader categories. Each award will be determined on the relevance of its content to the importance of science in today’s world, and the author’s ability to connect the topic to the interests of the general trade reader.”

The annual Lane Anderson Award honours two jury-selected books, in the categories of adult and young-reader, published in the field of science, and written by a Canadian.

Which given my Canadianness and my very evident love of science books, and especially lists of science books and awards, is naturally something I'm very excited about.

Let's get to the award nominations for this year:

Nominees for the 2013
Lane Anderson Award


Adult Nominees

Manitoba Butterflies: A Field Guide
by Simone Hebert Allard (Turnstone Press)

Manitoba Butterflies sets a new standard for butterfly field guides, featuring 101 different species of Manitoba’s butterflies and over 1,100 photographs. For the first time in any Canadian field guide, the life cycles of all 101 species are detailed with photographs, some of which have never been published before. Each butterfly is presented over two pages in a clear and easy-to-follow format. Space is provided for butterfly lovers of all ages to track the species they find and the various stages of the life cycle they observe.


The Oil Man and the Sea: Navigating the Northern Gateway
by Arno Kopecky (Douglas & McIntyre)

With Enbridge Inc's Northern Gateway proposal nearing approval, supertankers loaded with two million barrels of bitumen each may soon join herring, humpbacks and salmon on their annual migration through the tumultuous waters off British Columbia's Central Coast--a place no oil tanker has been before. The contentious project has aroused intense opposition, pitting local First Nations, a majority of British Columbia's urban population, and environmental groups across the country against an international consortium led by Enbridge and backed by a federal government determined to make Canada an "energy superpower."

Arno Kopecky is a journalist and travel writer whose dispatches have appeared in The Walrus, Foreign Policy, the Globe and Mail, Maclean's, The Tyee and Kenya's Daily Nation. He has covered civil uprisings in Mexico, cyclones in Burma, Zimbabwe's 30-year dictatorship and election violence in Kenya. He lives in Squamish, B.C.


The Peace-Athabasca Delta: Portrait of a Dynamic Ecosystem
by Kevin P. Timoney (University of Alberta Press)

“In the delta, water is boss, change is the only constant, and creation and destruction exist side by side.†The Peace-Athabasca Delta in northern Alberta is a globally significant wetland that lies within one of the largest unfragmented landscapes in North America. Arguably the world’s largest boreal inland delta, it is renowned for its biological productivity and is a central feature of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Yet the delta and its indigenous cultures lie downstream of Alberta’s bitumen sands, whose exploitation comprises one of the largest industrial projects in the world. Kevin Timoney provides an authoritative synthesis of the science and history of the delta, describing its ecology, unraveling its millennia-long history, and addressing its uncertain future. Scientists, students, leaders in the energy sector, government officials and policy makers, and conscientious citizens everywhere should read this lively work.


Juvenile Nominees

Chitchat: Celebrating the World’s Languages
by Jude Isabella art by Kathy Boake (Kids Can Press)

Award-winning children's science writer Jude Isabella has compiled everything a young reader would ever want to know about language into one accessible, visually stunning book. In lively text, both spoken and written language are explored, including: a basic history of human's use of language; how individuals learn language as babies, and why; how writing systems and alphabets differ; the many sources and uses of slang through the years; how languages evolved in different parts of the world; and why some languages became extinct. Throughout the pages, more than fifty world languages are highlighted and children are offered opportunities to try out some phrases. Each separate topic is covered on a two-page spread, making the content manageable and approachable, and each spread is enhanced with bite-size sidebars that relate to or expand upon the information presented. The entire book is colorfully illustrated throughout by Kathy Boake's striking and unique artwork.


Before The World Was Ready: Stories of Daring Genius in Science
by Claire Eamer art by Sa Boothroyd (Annick Press)

Earth revolves around the sun. Washing hands helps stop the spread of disease. Poisons in the environment affect the entire ecosystem. Today, these ideas are common knowledge but at one time, they were all rejected. As is often the case, it can take years for people to accept a new idea or invention that changes the way they see the world.


Pterosaur Trouble
by Daniel Loxton with Jim W.W. Smith (Kids Can Press)

Follow the pterosaur, a majestic flying reptile, as he encounters a pack of tiny but vicious dinosaurs. A unique blend of digital illustrations and landscape photography brings the ensuing battle to life. Pterosaur Trouble is book two in the Tales of Prehistoric Life series. Dramatic stories + eye-popping visuals = a surefire hit with young dinosaur lovers.


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