WELLCOME PRIZE GOES TO O'CONNELL'S "TO BE A MACHINE"

Apr 30, 2018

By Michael Kramer

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A book that explores the quest to defeat death with technology – has won Britain’s medically themed Wellcome Book Prize.

Mark O’Connell’s To Be a Machine beat five other finalists for the $41,000 prize – which aims to bridge the gap between literature and science.

The Irish writer visited cryogenic labs, Silicon Valley tech firms and cyborg startups for his non-fiction exploration of transhumanism – which seeks to overcome human frailties by merging people and machines.

Artist and writer Edmund de Waal chaired the judging panel. He said O’Connell’s book was “a passionate, entertaining and cogent examination of those who would choose to live forever.”

Funded by the Wellcome Trust foundation, the prize is open to all fiction or nonfiction works published in Britain – with a health or medical theme.

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