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Andrea Wulf’s Humboldt biography wins Science Book Prize

LONDON (AP) -- 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 nonspecialist readers.

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