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Undark        USA


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.


Undark was co-founded in 2016,

under the auspices

of the Knight Science Journalism Program,

by journalists Deborah Blum and Tom Zeller Jr.




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.


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.

- May 2, 2023






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