Press release

Bill Bryson to chair panel of judges for 2015 Wellcome Book Prize

Acclaimed writer Bill Bryson will chair an eminent panel of judges, the Wellcome Book Prize has announced today.

Bill Bryson is joined by an exceptional panel of leading figures from the worlds of literature, academia, science and the media: Uta Frith DBE, Emeritus Professor of Cognitive Development at UCL; bestselling author Mark Haddon; BBC presenter Razia Iqbal; and barrister and broadcaster Baroness Helena Kennedy QC.

Relaunched in 2014 with the strapline 'Books for the incurably curious', the Wellcome Book Prize celebrates the very best books with a medical theme - both fiction and nonfiction - published in the UK during the Prize year; books that challenge our curiosity, fire our imagination, inspire debate and help us to think differently about the world around us.

Chair of judges for 2015 Bill Bryson commented: "I am naturally honoured and excited to be taking part in the Wellcome Book Prize, and am especially excited to be working with such a distinguished panel of judges."

Ken Arnold, Head of Public Programmes at Wellcome Collection, said: "We are thrilled to announce this panel of exceptionally talented judges for the 2015 Wellcome Book Prize. They have an enormously exciting and stimulating task ahead, as they seek out books that reward curiosity, inspire debate, move as well as challenge the ways in which we imagine ourselves and the world we inhabit."

Previous winners of the Wellcome Book Prize have included: Andrew Solomon for 'Far From the Tree: Parents, children and the search for identity' in 2014; Thomas Wright for 'Circulation: William Harvey's revolutionary idea' in 2012; Alice LaPlante for 'Turn of Mind' in 2011; Rebecca Skloot for 'The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks' in 2010; and Andrea Gillies for 'Keeper: Living with Nancy - A journey into Alzheimer's' in 2009.

The Wellcome Book Prize, worth £30,000, is celebrated through the spring, with the shortlist announcement taking place in March and the winner being announced at the end of April. Wellcome Collection, the home of the Wellcome Book Prize, will also see exciting developments during this period, with the newly transformed Reading Room due to open as a public space in spring 2015 as part of a £17.5 million development of the venue.

For more information, please visit the Wellcome Book Prize website or Twitter.