Andrea Wulf's Humboldt biography wins Science Book Prize

A biography of German naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt has been named science book of the year.

Andrea Wulf's "The Invention of Nature" was awarded the 25,000-pound ($33,000) Science Book Prize on Monday.

It charts the life of the influential 18th- and 19th-century scientist who gave his name to mountains, cities, a lunar sea and a type of penguin.

Writer Bill Bryson, who chaired the judging panel, said Wulf's book was "a thrilling adventure story ... about a polymath who had an extraordinary impact on our contemporary understanding of nature."

The Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize celebrates science books in English aimed at non-specialist readers.

Wulf beat finalists including Tim Birkhead's egg exploration "The Most Perfect Thing" and "The Gene," by Pulitzer Prize winner Siddhartha Mukherjee.

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