About Undark

Undark is a non-profit, editorially independent digital magazine exploring the intersection of science and society. It is published with generous funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, through its Knight Science Journalism Fellowship Program at MIT.

OUR STORY | Awards | BOARD | STAFF BIOS | Independence | Funding | Corrections

Origins & Mission

Undark was co-founded in 2016, under the auspices of the Knight Science Journalism Program, by journalists Deborah Blum and Tom Zeller Jr. Today, it is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, and is managed by a small, dedicated, and widely distributed team of editors, writers, and support personnel.

The name Undark arises from a murky, century-old mingling of science and commerce — one that resulted in a radium-based industrial and consumer product, called Undark, that was both awe-inspiring and, as scientists would only later prove, toxic and deadly. We appropriate the name as a signal to readers that our magazine will explore science not just as a “gee-whiz” phenomenon, but as a frequently wondrous, sometimes contentious, and occasionally troubling byproduct of human culture.

As such, the intersection of science and society — the place where science is articulated in our politics and our economics; or where it is made potent and real in our everyday lives — is a fundamental part of our mission at Undark. As journalists, we recognize that science can often be politically, economically, and ethically fraught, even as it captures the imagination and showcases the astonishing scope of human endeavor. Undark will therefore aim to explore science in both light and shadow, and to bring that exploration to a broad, international audience.

Undark is not interested in “science communication” or related euphemisms, but in true journalistic coverage of the sciences.

OUR STORY | Awards | BOARD | STAFF BIOS | Independence | Funding | Corrections

Honors and Awards

Undark’s journalism has been anthologized in the “Best American Science and Nature Writing” book series, and our work is routinely republished by some of the world’s most respected media outlets, including The Atlantic, Scientific American, Smithsonian, NPR, Wired, Quartz, Salon, and Slate. Read more about republishing here.

The journalism produced by Undark and its contributors has also been honored with numerous accolades and awards, including finalist nominations for the coveted National Magazine Award in the Reporting category (2022), and for Single Topic Issue (2023).

Undark and its contributors have also been recipients of the AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Gold Award for In-Depth Science Reporting (2023); the Online News Association Award for Topical Reporting (2023); the George Polk Award for Environmental Journalism (2019); the Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award (2019); and the NIHCM Digital Media Award (2018).

In addition, our work has been recognized with prizes and honors by numerous journalism organizations, including the National Association of Black Journalists, the Society for Environmental Journalists, the Association of Heath Care Journalists, and the National Association of Science Writers.

OUR STORY | Awards | BOARD | STAFF BIOS | Independence | Funding | Corrections

Advisory Board

Charles M. Blow, Raychelle Burks, Dan Fagin, Felice Frankel, David Kaiser, Alan Lightman, Melissa Nobles, David Quammen, Mary Roach, Phillip Sharp, Rebecca Skloot, George Whitesides, Carl Zimmer

Please visit the Meet Our Team page for more detailed Advisory Board bios.

Support Undark Magazine

Undark is a non-profit, editorially independent magazine covering the complicated and often fractious intersection of science and society. If you would like to help support our journalism, please consider making a donation. All proceeds go directly to Undark’s editorial fund.

OUR STORY | Awards | BOARD | STAFF BIOS | Independence | Funding | Corrections

Site Design

137 Portland Street, 4th Floor Boston, MA 02114
(617) 329-1316 | [email protected]

Site Maintenance & Development

10up, Inc.
2765 Carradale Dr., Roseville, CA 95661
(888) 571 7130 | [email protected]



Deborah Blum

Editor in Chief

Tom Zeller Jr.

Deputy Editor

Jane Roberts Reza

Articles Editor

Brooke Borel

Senior Editors

Nora Belblidia
Amanda Grennell
Ashley Smart
Scott Veale
Corinna Wu

Contributing Editors

Michael Schulson
Sara Talpos

Senior Contributors

Teresa Carr, Dan Falk, Frieda Klotz, Jyoti Madhusoodanan, Rod McCullom, Lourdes Medrano, Fletcher Reveley, Charles Schmidt, Sarah Scoles, Ramin Skibba, Peter Andrey Smith

Audience Engagement Manager

Adriana Lacy

Financial Director

Myles Crowley

Business Manager

Lucas Haugen


[email protected]



Publishing Partners

Undark’s conscientiously reported and fact-checked stories are trusted and republished by some of the world's most prominent media companies. If you are a publisher interested in collaborating with Undark, please contact us at [email protected].