Purbita Saha (she/her) is the Senior Deputy Editor at Popular Science. She leads the magazine’s science desk and internship program and also edits features, reads book galleys, guest stars on “Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week,” and tweets bad jokes from the @PopSci account. She is a diehard New Jerseyan, but would move to the California desert in a flash if she had an eternal palm oasis to tend to.
- Utility editor and idea machine with strengths in environmental storytelling, service journalism, and intersectional coverage of science and justice
- Experienced radio guest, festival speaker, conference panelist, and university lecturer
- Range of bylines at Audubon and The New York Times
Purbita joined PopSci as a senior editor in 2019, right before COVID took over daily life. Throughout the pandemic, she oversaw growth in the brand’s online presence, helping it cement itself as a source of clear, safe, and engaging information in times of crisis. That also meant finding the breaks in the clouds to tell unexpected stories about gummy bears, DIY Silly Putty, and burpees. Purbita’s favorite beat is still wildlife, as evidenced by her many articles on underrated birds and insects—but PopSci’s boundless coverage has pushed her to dissect wonkier topics, like feuding deep-sea explorers and the best security innovations. She is currently the co-facilitator of the company’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion workgroup.
Prior to PopSci, Purbita was an editor at Audubon, the flagship publication of the National Audubon Society. She now uses her love of birding and grassroots organizing to connect urban communities with nature. She is a member of the Asian American Writers Workshop and has contributed to multiple National Magazine Award nominations. Purbita has appeared on Science Friday, WNYC, and an extinction-themed clothing campaign.
Purbita has a BS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and a BA in Journalism from the University of Connecticut. She led a dual life on campus as an entomology-lab tech and a newspaper editor (she shared the masthead with two PopSci colleagues). She continues to pursue learning through community science initiatives like the Galbatross Project and was recently certified in bird banding, Mental Health First Aid, and Stop the Bleed. As an Indian American, Purbita grew up in a trilingual household, which primed her to speed read subtitles in Parasite and anime shows.
Favorite weird science fact
The last human to walk on the moon (geologist Harrison Schmitt) was probably allergic to it. At least he had tea to spill decades later.
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- Acid-covered caterpillars are a delicacy for migrating Swainson’s hawks Audubon
- When women run the bird world Audubon
- Buzzfeed asked a bunch of questions–and we answered Audubon