Program Goal

To support authors in the research and writing of a wide range of books aimed at public understanding of science and technology.


Books are critical entry points for the entire Public Understanding program.  They allow us to delve deeply into any subject and uncover or synthesize new knowledge while imparting the profoundest understanding of issues and individuals.  Books also frame important questions and concerns for the public in an enlightened and accessible context.  The Foundation remains committed to books, both for their intrinsic value as a matrix of uniquely rich experience and deep learning, and for their adaptability to other media for broader dissemination and popularization.

The current book program began in 1996 and has supported over 100 authors. For the prior two decades, the Foundation supported the Sloan Series of Scientific Autobiographies in the 1980s and the Sloan Technology Series, begun in 1994, which was continued under the current program.  


Grantmaking usually takes the form of direct support to authors or support via a host institution such as a university. Supported books tend to fall into the following categories:

  • Books that elucidate important subjects where the science is confusing or controversial;
  • Books that profile important figures in science and technology;
  • Books relating science and technology to daily life;
  • Books exploring the numerous connections between science, technology, and art;
  • Books about the relationship between women and science and technology.

​The Foundation will sometimes deviate from these categories for book projects of unusual scientific, artistic, or cultural importance.​

Catalog of Supported Books

The Foundation's Book program aims to reach a wide, lay audience, and has supported over 100 authors since 1996 in the research and writing of a wide range of books aimed at public understanding of science and technology.

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A brief letter of inquiry, preferably via email is the best way to gauge whether there is any potential interest in your project. Telephone inquiries are not accepted.

 A formal application packet should include:

  • Proposal Cover Sheet
  • The main argument for the book, including what else has been published in this area and why your book is needed. (No more than 20 pages double spaced; shorter is better)
  • Outline for the book
  • Sample chapter
  • A publisher agreement or strong letter of support
  • A budget  (See sample here)
  • A CV
  • Copy of relevant previous book or previous work. 
  • Conflict of Interest Statement (For more info, see here)
  • Diversity Statement (For more info, see here)
  • Proposal Administration Form

Completed application packets should be emailed to Program Director Doron Weber with a cc to Program Associate Ali Chunovic.