Ed Yong: Online-Only

Urszula Soltys

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Ed Yong: Online-Only

Past Event: Thursday, February 10, 2022

At lectures.org

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Although this event has passed, you can still purchase tickets now through Thursday, February 17, at 7:30 p.m. (PT). The event will be viewable until 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, February 17.

Science journalist Ed Yong writes about everything that is or was once alive, from the microbes that secretly rule the world to the species disappearing from it. In this Journalism Series talk, Yong will be discussing his Pulitzer Prize-winning COVID-19 coverage.

A staff writer for The Atlantic, Yong is the author of the New York Times bestseller I Contain Multitudes, a book about the amazing partnerships between animals and microbes. In examining nature at its most granular, Yong’s writing seeks to change our sense of where humans belong within it.

Q&A with journalist Wudan Yan.

Every animal, whether human, squid, or wasp, is home to millions of bacteria and other microbes. Through this lens, journalist Ed Yong prompts us to look at ourselves and our animal companions in a new light—less as individuals and more as the interconnected, interdependent multitudes we are.

His first book, I Contain Multitudes, was a New York Times bestseller and appeared in numerous books-of-the-year lists from 2016, including the New York Times, Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus, The Guardian, Smithsonian, The Economist, NPR, Forbes, and many others. I Contain Multitudes was shortlisted for the 2017 Wellcome Book Prize and was a finalist for the 2017 LA Times Book Prize. For his achievements in reporting on microbiology, as well as his book, Yong was awarded the 2016 Byron H. Waksman Award for Excellence in the Public Communication of Life Sciences.

Many think of microbes as germs to be eradicated, but those that live with us—the microbiome—build our bodies, protect our health, shape our identities, and grant us incredible abilities. Part of our immune systems, these microbes also protect us from disease. In 2020, Yong delved deeper into this subject in his coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. His writing was recognized with a 2021 Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Reporting for, “a series of lucid, definitive pieces on the COVID-19 pandemic that anticipated the course of the disease, synthesized the complex challenges the country faced, illuminated the U.S. government’s failures, and provided clear and accessible context for the scientific and human challenges it posed.”

Ed Yong is an award-winning science writer who reports for The Atlantic. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Wired, the New York Times, NatureNew Scientist, Scientific American, the Guardian, the Times, DiscoverSlate, and other publications. He lives in London and Washington DC, and has a Chatham Island black robin named after him.

Wudan Yan, our Q&A moderator for the evening, is an independent journalist based in Seattle. She writes about science and society—including the coronavirus pandemic— for The Atlantic, High Country News, MIT Technology Review, New York Magazine, the New York Times, and others. Learn more.

Event Details


Know Before You Go

Can’t find your tickets? Need access to the digital event?

All tickets have been emailed for Ed Yong’s event, so be sure to check your inbox for an email from boxoffice@lectures.org. Call us at 206-621-2230 x10 if you can’t find them.

For online attendance: Your e-tickets, which come attached in a PDF with your ticket order confirmation email, contain your digital access instructions. The night of your event, return to https://lectures.org/event/ed-yong/ and enter the password where prompted. The program begins at 6:00 p.m. (PT) and will be available for viewing for a week after the event.

SAL will also send an email the day of the event, containing the same information. If you have opted out of receiving SAL emails, you will miss this important information—please email us at boxoffice@lectures.org and we will assist you.

Have a question for the speaker?

Want to ask Ed Yong something? Send your question to SAL at sal@lectures.org—it might be asked onstage!


Our partner bookstore will have copies of Ed Yong’s work available for purchase on their website.


Closed Captioning is an option for people who have hearing loss, where captioning displays the words that are spoken or sung at the bottom of the video. Captioning is available for all online events; click the “CC” button to view captions during the event.

Sign Language Interpretation is available upon request for Deaf, DeafBlind, and hard of hearing individuals at online events. To make a request for ASL interpretation, please contact us at boxoffice@lectures.org or 206.621.2230×10, or select Sign Language Interpretation from the Accessibility section during your ticket checkout process, and we will reach out to you to confirm details. Please note: we appreciate a two-week advance notice to allow us time to secure interpretation.

We are pleased to offer these accessibility services for online events, and they are provided at no additional cost to ticket holders. Please contact us with any questions and feedback about how we can be more accessible and inclusive. Our Patron Services Manager is available at boxoffice@lectures.org, or Monday-Friday from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at 206.621.2230×10. For more accessibility information, please head to lectures.org/accessibility.


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