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Ed Yong

Pulitzer Prize winning science staff writer for The Atlantic

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  • About Ed Yong

    Back in 2018, award-winning science writer Ed Yong warned readers about the dangers an infectious disease outbreak would pose to public health in the United States. He had foreseen the country’s fragility in preparing and responding for an epidemic, from the chronic underfunding of healthcare and shortage of medical supplies to President Donald Trump’s inadequacies as a leader. When COVID-19 broke out in the United States in March 2020, Yong projected the repercussions if and when the virus become a national issue. Throughout 2020, he continued his exemplary reporting on the coronavirus pandemic, giving a full account of what went wrong, concluding that “almost everything that went wrong with America’s response to the pandemic was predictable and preventable.” Now, Yong discusses the pandemic’s impacts, resets expectations for the end of COVID-19, and maps out a path forward for the country.

    For his exemplary coverage of the pandemic, Yong has also won the George Polk Award for science reporting; the Victor Cohn Prize for medical-science reporting; the Neil and Susan Sheehan Award for investigative journalism; the John P. McGovern Award from the American Medical Writers Association; and the AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award for in-depth reporting.

    Yong is also passionate about other areas in science. He is the best-selling author of I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us, a groundbreaking, informative, and entertaining examination of the relationship between animals and microbes. His second book, An Immense World, will take a comprehensive look at the fascinating sensory worlds of animals. In addition to The Atlantic, his work has appeared in National Geographic, the New Yorker, Wired, Nature, New Scientist, and Scientific American, among others.

  • Speaking Topics

    What Pandemics Teach Us

    The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed significant weaknesses in our ability to deal with infectious diseases. Based on his Pulitzer-Prize winning science reporting Yong explores why the pandemic proved to be so devastating, and what actions must be taken for us to be prepared.

    The Art of Science Journalism

    Speaking from his experience writing before and during the Covid-19 pandemic, Yong explores the core of what it means to be a science journalist, how inseparable science is from the rest of society, and how it is shaped by our culture, our social norms, and our collective decisions.

    The Amazing Nature of Animal Senses

    In this engaging lecture based on his upcoming book, An Immense World, Yong takes audiences through the hidden realms of animal senses. With wit and humor learn the amazing ways in which animals perceive aspects of the world to which we are oblivious.

  • Video

  • Praise for Ed Yong

    Praise for I Contain Multitudes

    In I Contain Multitudes, Yong synthesizes literally hundreds and hundreds of papers, but he never overwhelms you with the science. He just keeps imparting one surprising, fascinating insight after the next. I Contain Multitudesis science journalism at its best.

    Bill Gates

    A science journalist’s first book is an excellent, vivid introduction to the all-enveloping realm of our secret sharers.

    New York Times Book Review, Editor's Choice

    Offer[s] engrossing-and gross-details about how an invisible world shapes our species…Mr. Yong’s book lives up to its title, containing multitudes of facts presented in graceful, accessible prose….The author wonderfully turns to the humanities again and again to enrich the book’s scientific detail…And he’s funny.

    Wall Street Journal

    Not since de Kruif’s classic, “Microbe Hunters,’’ has this invisible world been brought so vividly to life… Yong’s curiosity and humor made me smile and even laugh out loud, much to my husband’s surprise. By the end of the book his sense of wonder for microbes was, well, infectious.

    Boston Globe

    For a lesser writer, the temptation to oversimplify the science or to sex up unwarranted conclusions might have proved irresistible. Mr Yong expertly avoids these pitfalls…. I Contain Multitudes bowls along wonderfully without it. His hero, Sir David [Attenborough], would surely approve.

    The Economist
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