Lauren J. Young

Associate Editor

Lauren J. Young is an Associate Editor at Popular Science where she covers health inequities, environmental justice, biodiversity, space exploration, history, and culture. Before joining PopSci in 2021, she was a digital producer and reporter at public radio’s Science Friday. While she’s a science journalist by day, she’s a proud library assistant by night.

Highlights

  • Science reporter, multimedia producer, and editor with nearly eight years of journalism experience across numerous newsrooms
  • Enthusiastic about covering biological wonders, the effects of climate change on health, education tech and policy, and the role of media and science in an age of bias and misinformation
  • Skilled in long-form narrative writing and editing, fact-checking, live radio, video and audio production, and MARC and Library of Congress cataloging 
  • Works have appeared in Science Friday, Scholastic MATH, Scholastic’s Science World, School Library Journal, Atlas Obscura, Inverse, IEEE Spectrum, and Smithsonian Magazine’s Smart News

Experience

Lauren joined Popular Science as an Associate Editor in 2021. She’s edited and written stories that tackle a wide range of subjects, including the latest COVID-19 variants and at-home tests, emerging fungal diseases, ancient bird tongues, and the genetics behind our fingerprint patterns. She is as passionate about covering health inequities and environmental justice issues, as she is about cephalopods, insects, and other many-armed and legged creatures. Her reporting has taken her to a paleontological dig in the Utah desert, a lab where scientists milk ticks for their saliva, and countless natural history museum archives and libraries. Most recently, she was a reporter and digital producer at public radio’s Science Friday, where she wrote and produced more than 150 stories. Her multimedia feature on the overlooked fungal disease, valley fever was recognized at the 2021 Society of Environmental Journalist Awards. She’s appeared as a guest on SciFri’s radio show and stage events, and has spoken on panels for the Asian American Journalists Association, American Library Association, and the New York Botanical Garden. Lauren is currently based in New York City, but proudly hails from the San Joaquin Valley of California.

Education

Lauren received her bachelor’s degree from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in 2014, where she studied biology and minored in English. In 2015, She earned a master's degree in journalism from New York University’s Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting Program.

Favorite weird science fact

A quick and dirty way to distinguish fossil bone from rocks is with a tongue test. Rocks generally slip off the tongue, while fossil bones will stick when you lick because of the porous nature of bones. And yes, paleontologists do sometimes lick specimens while they are on a dig. You can also lick your finger and see if it sticks to avoid mistakenly licking a bunch of rocks.

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