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Durham University News

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University salutes Chancellor Bryson’s book-for-schools initiative

(7 June 2005)

Durham University has applauded its Chancellor, the author Bill Bryson, for his plan to send a free copy of his prize-winning science book to every secondary school in Britain.

The book, A Short History of Nearly Everything, won last year’s Royal Society Aventis Prize for science writing, and Dr Bryson is among this year’s judges for the award. The book, which has already sold two million copies, was hailed for its intelligent and accessible treatment of complex topics like the origins of the universe, life and civilisation.

University Vice-Chancellor Sir Kenneth Calman said: “This is a typically thoughtful, appropriate and constructive move by Bill Bryson. He is a champion for communication and good sense and we applaud him for it.“

The Royal Society of Chemistry is helping to pay the costs of the plan and the government supports the idea as a way of encouraging more pupils to develop interest in science subjects.

Bill Bryson, who became chancellor of Durham University in April, last year received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the University.

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