Professor Iain McCalman Receives Coveted Publishing Award

30 September 2010

In a year of great publishing success for the History Department, another academic has received critical recognition for their fascinating work.

Professor Iain McCalman's book Darwin's Armada: How four voyagers to Australasia won the battle for evolution and changed the world (Penguin) has won the 2009 Western Australian Premier's Book Award for non-fiction.

Western Australian Premier, Colin Barnett, announced Professor McCalman's achievement at a ceremony held on September 1.

According to the Award citation, Darwin's Armada is an "absolutely superb achievement" in its meticulous research, elegant construction and McCalman's narrative finesse in animating one of the world's most controversial scientific discoveries.

This year's competition received a record number of entries as a result of widened eligibility criteria and increased prize money, with 404 entries vying for the coveted award.

McCalman's book was shortlisted earlier this year for the 2009 General History Prize in the NSW Premier's History Awards, which was won by fellow University of Sydney scholar Warwick Anderson for his The Collectors of Lost Souls: turning Kuru scientists into whitemen (John Hopkins University Press).

Darwin's Armada has been both critically and popularly acclaimed as providing a unique insight into the burgeoning force of Darwin's revolutionary ideas, with Australasia the scene of many of these groundbreaking discoveries.