Rachel Feltman

Executive Editor

Rachel Feltman is Popular Science’s Executive Editor. That means they do a little bit of everything—managing the editors that make PopSci so great, hosting and overseeing the hit podcast The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week, and helping to fill the magazine’s digital pages with thrilling features. She lives in Jersey City with her surprisingly tall husband and surprisingly old cat. 

Highlights

  • An omnivorous writer, editor, and podcaster with a degree in environmental studies from Simon’s Rock and a Masters in Science Reporting from NYU. 
  • Previously launched and ran The Washington Post’s “Speaking of Science” blog, with bylines for Quartz, Scientific American, Popular Mechanics, and The Atlantic
  • Contributor to MIT Knight Science Journalism Institute’s digital handbook for science editors
  • Author of “Been There, Done That: A Rousing History of Sex” (Bold Type/Hachette), out May 2022.

 

Experience

In 2014, after a brief stint as a health reporter for Quartz, Feltman founded the Washington Post’s irreverent ‘Speaking of Science’ blog. In 2016, they joined Popular Science as a Science Editor, and soon took on the title of Articles Editor to help steer the brand’s editorial direction. As Executive Editor, a title she’s held since 2021, she hosts The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week and assigns and edits stories on everything from ancient mega-shark mysteries to the tasty chemistry of cannabis. She believes that breaking down fear and stigma is the best way to help people gain scientific literacy, and she believes that the best way to break down fear and stigma is to make as many fart jokes as humanly possible. Feltman has debunked herpes hysteria on “Cheddar,” shared millipede news on “Science Friday,” and provided expert weather and climate commentary on MSNBC. They’ve also been a speaker at the annual meetings of the National Association of Science Writers, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Online News Association, as well as the International Conference on High Energy Physics, the World Conference of Science Journalists, and the World Government Summit in Dubai.

Education

Rachel graduated from Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, in 2012 with a degree in Environmental Studies and a self-designed minor in Science Writing. They then honed their journalism skills at New York University’s Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting Program, earning a master’s degree in 2014.

Favorite weird science fact

There was once a species of dog that was genetically engineered to serve as a kitchen appliance. The Turnspit was a goofy-looking dog with a pretty unfair lot in life, and it’s one of Rachel’s favorite examples of the myriad bizarre ways humans have changed the “natural” world for as long as Homo sapiens have existed.

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