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On October 27th 2023, students, teachers, scientists and members of the jury met in CREA to award the Cosmos Book Prize 2023 to the best popular science book of the year. It was an evening full of music and new insights, and in the end two winners took home the prize! 

The student jury chose the book 'Het eiland dat Higgs heet' by Martijn van Calmthout and Stan Bentvelsen as the winner, saying it was almost an honour to read the book. The professional jury chose 'Ongekend' by Margriet van der Heijden, because it exposes an 'uncomfortable element in the way science has long been organized'. It was a beautiful evening.

Boeken 2023



Govert Schilling maps out what is hanging over our heads, how we can see these projectiles arriving in time and whether we can bend them away or blow them up. (English translation not available)


Ten years after the discovery of the Higgs particle, 'Het Eiland dat Higgs heet' playfully and lightheartedly points the way on this new continent in physics, showing the untrodden paths. (English translation not available)


This small but rich gem of a book is an ode to physics and to the human wonder called science. (English translation not available)


'Horizons' tells the history of science as it has never been told before. It shows that this history is one of global cultural exchange.


In 'Marie Curie and her daughters', Claudine Monteil brings these three brilliant, free-spirited and strong women to life in a moving way.


'Ongekend' is a collection of biographical sketches of exceptional women in natural sciences. (English translation not available)

Gianfranco Bertone - initiator Dutch prize

'The aim is to encourage young people to start reading. When I was little, I only had one bookstore in my village where I read all the books. Nowadays young people have too much information and it is sometimes difficult to choose or discover things.'


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Ivo van Vulpen | Chair

Ivo is Professor of Science Communication in Physics at Leiden University, and he works at both the University of Amsterdam and Nikhef as a particle physicist. He is also a member of the Atlas experiment at theLarge Hadron Collider (CERN), and author of a popular science book on particle physics.

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KEri Vos

Keri Vos is a theoretical physicist and works at Maastricht University and Nikhef. She investigates the disintegration of heavy "beauty" particles, produced in theLarge Hadron Collider particle accelerator at CERN in Geneva.

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Rosanne Herzberger

Rosanne is a Dutch writer, columnist in the NRC Handelsblad and scientist in the field of microbiology. As a columnist, she writes every week about the interfaces between science and everyday life.

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Jan Bouwe van den Berg

Jan Bouwe is Professor of Differential Equations and Applications at VU University Amsterdam. He has extensive knowledge of both physics and mathematics and is also part of the National Science Agenda route 'Building Blocks of Matter and Fundamentals of Space and Time'.

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Floris van der Tak

Floris works at the Netherlands Institute for Space Research on various astronomy topics, including the origin of life on Earth and possible other planets (exoplanets). 

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For the student jury of the Cosmos Book Prize 2023, we are looking for a group of 30 students from the Netherlands (havo, vwo, gymnasium, MBO 3 and 4), aged 15 to 18 years. 

We ask you to read the nominated books and select a top three. We'll collect the votes, as well as organize an event in which you can meet (one of) the authors.

The two winners will be announced during a festive award ceremony on 27 October 2023 in Amsterdam!

Do you want to be part of the jury of the Cosmos Book Prize 2023? Sign up below!


Sign up for the 2023 student jury

Thank you for registering!



The Cosmos Book Prize originated from the idea of scientist Gianfranco Bertone and is awarded to the best popular science book in the field of physics, mathematics or astronomy of the year. Both a professional jury and a jury of scholars will indicate their preference. The winner(s) will take home a beautiful award, as well as a cash prize of 1500 euros. The festive award ceremony will take place on 27 October 2023 in Amsterdam.

The Cosmos Book Award 2023 is organized by:

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Jan Pieter van der Schaar                  Jim Jansen                       Eline Kraaijenvanger                      Alex Sieval                         Maureen Voestermans



Fresh, festive and promising - Friday 28 October 2022 was the very first presentation of the Cosmos Book Award in the Koninklijke Industrieele Groote Club in Amsterdam. Both the professional jury and the student jury selected De Paraplustelling from mathematician Mickaël Launay as winner.


Read the full report of the evening at New Scientist here.

Video: Robin de Ridder

Photos: Bob Bronshoff


Video: Robin de Ridder

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