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Maddie Bender


I am an MPH student at the Yale School of Public Health. I am fascinated by the unseen particles, organisms, and forces that shape life on Earth. I’m also aware of the power that words and stories hold. Since high school, I’ve known I wanted to pursue science journalism as a career. I have spent the past five years realizing that goal. In college, I wrote for and edited the science & technology section of my school paper. During summers in between, I reported for CNN Health and interned for Wow in the World, an NPR science podcast for kids. I graduated from Yale in 2020 with degrees in evolutionary biology and classics, completing my thesis on the evolutionary conservation of bacterial metabolism. As a senior, I applied to public health school “so that when the next pandemic occurs, I’ll be prepared to cover it” (an actual excerpt from my application, written in late 2019). Well, the next pandemic occurred, and I reported on it for Vice, Popular Science, and other outlets. As a frequent contributor to Vice’s technology section Motherboard, I’ve been able to dive deep in features on scientific integrity and cover discoveries in nearly every field imaginable, from quantum computing to espresso materials science. In addition to freelance writing, I help other scientists find their voices as an editor at Massive Science. I’m thrilled to be spending the summer at Scientific American. 


Maddie Bender smiles at the camera in front of a cherry blossom tree in a neighborhood. She has shoulder length light brown hair and a patterned shirt.

Yale University

Fellowship Sponsor: Burroughs Wellcome Fund

Fellowship Host: Scientific American