The PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award celebrates writing that exemplifies literary excellence on the subject of physical and biological sciences. The winner receives a cash award of $10,000 and will be honored at the PEN Literary Awards. The PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award was founded by scientist and author Dr. Edward O. Wilson, activist and actor Harrison Ford, and the E. O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation. The inaugural award was conferred in 2011.
Carl Hart, a professor of psychology and psychiatry at Columbia University, won PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award ($10,000) for “High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society.” When the news of his award broke, Hart was in Zurich studying how the Swiss deal with drugs and social justice. “Of course, I am humbled by the selection,” he wrote via e-mail. “‘High Price’ outlines many uncomfortable ideas and facts about topics we’d rather avoid such as race, poverty and drugs. The attention to the book is especially important now, as many countries around the world, including in Latin America and Europe, are questioning the status quo and are looking for ways to articulate a better, more just drug policy.”