Ed Yong

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Ed Yong
Yong in 2015
Edmund Soon-Weng Yong

(1981-12-17) 17 December 1981 (age 41)
Alma mater
Known forNot Exactly Rocket Science (blog);
I Contain Multitudes (book);
SpouseLiz Neeley
AwardsPulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting
Scientific career
InstitutionsThe Atlantic
ThesisSearching for the human resolvase (2005)

Edmund Soon-Weng Yong (born 17 December 1981) is a British-American science journalist and author. He is a staff member at The Atlantic, which he joined in 2015.[1] In 2021, he received a Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for a series on the COVID-19 pandemic.


Edmund Soon-Weng Yong was born 17 December 1981 in Malaysia.[2][3][4] At the age of 13, Yong immigrated to the UK in 1994. He became a British citizen in 2005.[5]

Yong was awarded Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in natural sciences (zoology) from Pembroke College, Cambridge[6] in 2002.[7] He completed postgraduate study at University College London (UCL), where he was awarded a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree in 2005 in biochemistry.[2]


Yong's approach to popular science writing has been described as "the future of science news",[8] and he has received numerous awards for his work. Earlier in his career, Yong created and wrote the now-defunct blog Not Exactly Rocket Science, which was published as part of the National Geographic Phenomena blog network. Yong received the National Academies Communication Award from the National Academy of Sciences in 2010 in recognition of his online journalism; in the same year, he received three awards from ResearchBlogging.org, which supports online science journalism focused on covering research that has already been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals that can be adapted for a wider public audience.[9] In 2012 he received the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) Stephen White Award.[10] His blog received the first Best Science Blog award from the Association of British Science Writers in 2014.[11] Yong's interactions with other science bloggers and engagement with those who have commented on his blog have served as case studies for academic work in media studies.[12]

His work also has been published by Nature,[13] Scientific American,[14] the BBC,[15] Slate,[16] Aeon,[17] The Guardian,[18] The Times,[7] New Scientist,[19] Wired,[20] The New York Times, and The New Yorker.[7][21]

In September 2015, Yong joined The Atlantic as a science reporter.[22] In August 2020, he received the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing's Victor Cohn Prize for Excellence in Medical Science Reporting, citing his reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic and his commitment to including marginalized and underrepresented voices in his writing.[23] In June 2021, he received a Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for a series on the COVID-19 pandemic.[24]

In 2016, Yong released the book, I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life which recounts the ubiquitousness of microbes and the relationships microbes have with animals.[25] In 2022, Yong released his second book, An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us, which explores animal perception.[26] The book received the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, was featured as Book of the Week on BBC Radio 4 in June 2022,[27] named by Publishers Weekly as one of the top ten books of 2022, regardless of genre,[28] and awarded the 2023 Royal Society Trivedi Science Book Prize.

Personal life[edit]

Yong is married to Liz Neeley, a science communicator.[29][30] They occasionally collaborate on speaking engagements.[31][29]

Yong lived in Washington, D.C. until May 2023, when he and Neeley moved to Oakland, California, where they currently reside.[3][32][33]


  • Not Exactly Rocket Science. Lulu Press. 2008.
  • I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life. Random House. 2016.
  • An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us. Random House. 2022.


  1. ^ "The Atlantic Expands Its News Team and Adds Other New Roles". theatlantic.com. The Atlantic. 23 July 2015. Archived from the original on 29 June 2016. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  2. ^ a b Yong, Edmund Soon-Weng (2005). Searching for the human resolvase (MPhil thesis). University of London. OCLC 926124477.
  3. ^ a b "I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life by Ed Yong". The Royal Society. Retrieved 3 April 2020.
  4. ^ Yong, Ed [@edyong209] (17 December 2012). "Thanks for birthday wishes, loads of people" (Tweet) – via Twitter.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ Yong, Ed [@edyong209] (24 June 2016). "I am an immigrant. I've lived in the UK for 22 years and been a citizen for 11 of those and I've never felt as unwelcome as I do now" (Tweet) – via Twitter.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ "Ed Yong (Pembroke 1999) wins Pulitzer Prize". Alumni. Retrieved 17 November 2021.
  7. ^ a b c Yong, Ed (2014). "Ed Yong, Science Writer". Archived from the original on 20 March 2014.
  8. ^ Rennie, John (3 February 2011). "Why Ed Yong is the Future of Science News (and You Could Be, Too)". PLoS Blogs. PLOS. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Ed Yong wins NUJ Stephen White science award". National Union of Journalists. 28 June 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  11. ^ "Winners". Association of British Science Writers. Archived from the original on 13 May 2020. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  12. ^
    • Shanahan, M.-C. (8 September 2011). "Science blogs as boundary layers: Creating and understanding new writer and reader interactions through science blogging". Journalism. 12 (7): 903–919. doi:10.1177/1464884911412844. S2CID 144586150.
    • Fahy, D.; Nisbet, M. C. (8 September 2011). "The science journalist online: Shifting roles and emerging practices". Journalism. 12 (7): 778–793. doi:10.1177/1464884911412697. S2CID 145363279.
    • Elmer, Greg (2015). Elmer, Greg; Langlois, Ganaele; Redden, Joanna (eds.). Compromised Data: From Social Media to Big Data. Bloomsbury Publishing USA. pp. 251–63. ISBN 9781501306501.
  13. ^ * Yong, Ed (2011). "Friendly bacteria move in mysterious ways". Nature. doi:10.1038/news.2011.614.
  14. ^ Yong, Ed (2013). "Armor against Prejudice". Scientific American. 308 (6): 76–80. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0613-76. PMID 23729075.
  15. ^ Yong, Ed (2014). "The amateur geneticist who surprised science". bbc.com. BBC. Archived from the original on 9 March 2016.
  16. ^ "Ed Yong". Slate Magazine. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  17. ^ "Ed Yong". Aeon. Retrieved 22 January 2023.
  18. ^ "Ed Yong Guardian Profile". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 10 April 2016.
  19. ^ Yong, Ed (2015). "Bugs on patrol". New Scientist. 226 (3024): 40–43. doi:10.1016/S0262-4079(15)30523-6.
  20. ^ Yong, Ed (19 March 2013). "How the Science of Swarms Can Help Us Fight Cancer and Predict the Future". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  21. ^ Yong, Ed. "Not Exactly Rocket Science". National Geographic. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  22. ^ Yong, Ed [@edyong209] (26 August 2015). "Starting at The Atlantic next Tuesday! And first piece for them is going up tomorrow. Because reasons" (Tweet) – via Twitter.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  23. ^ "Ed Yong awarded 2020 Victor Cohn Prize for medical science reporting | Council for the Advancement of Science Writing". casw.org. 22 August 2020. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  24. ^ LaForme, Ren (11 June 2021). "Here are the winners of the 2021 Pulitzer Prizes". Poynter.
  25. ^ Curry, Stephn (25 August 2016). "I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong – full of life's little surprises". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
  26. ^ Gross, Terry (22 June 2022). "The human sensory experience is limited. Journey into the world that animals know". NPR. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
  27. ^ "An Immense World by Ed Yong". BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 1 July 2022.
  28. ^ "Best Books 2022: Publishers Weekly Publishers Weekly". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 27 October 2022.
  29. ^ a b "The Atlantic's Ed Yong visits UW as fall science writer in residence". news.wisc.edu. 26 September 2017. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  30. ^ Neeley, Liz (6 June 2019). "Liz Neeley on Instagram: "This guy... AND #elephants!!! . . . . #zimbabwe #waterhole #honeymoon #victoriafalls #nofilter"". Instagram. Archived from the original on 24 December 2021. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  31. ^ Shelton, Jim (25 September 2019). "Neeley and Yong extol the power of narrative in science writing". news.yale.edu. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  32. ^ "Ed Yong". HarperCollins. Retrieved 3 April 2020.
  33. ^ "The Ed's Up - Spark Region". buttondown.email. 11 September 2023. Retrieved 20 October 2023.

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