Pulitzer Prize-winning 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.
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.
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, Nature, New Scientist, Scientific American, the Guardian, the Times, Discover, Slate, and other publications. He lives in London and Washington DC, and has a Chatham Island black robin named after him.