Editor, Science

Job Number: R10009569
Brand: National Geographic
Job Type: Editorial
Location: Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America
Job Posting Date: October 2, 2019
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National Geographic

National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between Disney and the National Geographic Society, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 131 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching millions of people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education.


The Science Editor is a key part of the team responsible for making the Science desk the go-to source for reporting on discoveries and enterprising stories in astronomy, paleontology, and geology. This desk also reports on physical sciences, human origins, modern health and genetics, psychology, and technology. The Science Editor will work side-by-side with desk editors covering the environment, and so should have a familiarity with climate change stories and how humans and nature are adapting; the scope and effects of plastics pollution; and the health and management of national parks. In each of these areas, the Science Editor crafts coverage of how discoveries and events affect our daily lives, and what this reveals about our world. The Science Editor in this position will be able to motivate staff and freelance writers to produce stories and other content across print and digital platforms that is surprising, sensitive, and groundbreaking. This editor needs to have broad knowledge of the way science works, the ability to identify and nurture outside writing talent, and strong interpersonal skills.


As part of the editorial team reporting to the Executive Editor/Science, the Science Editor will contribute to decision-making about content that fulfills the mission of National Geographic to inform the public about scientific discoveries, environmental threats, and the other topic areas outlined above. This editor will help develop editorial content that positions National Geographic at the forefront of print and digital publications in the area of reporting about science and environment. Specifically:

  • Assign and edit National Geographic’s science stories for print and digital platforms by independently finding, developing, and producing articles; evaluating submissions for stories and reviewing proposals from writers, photographers, scientists, and project leaders; collaborating with other divisions of National Geographic Partners and the National Geographic Society to identify opportunities for cross-platform story development; and working with the Executive Editor and other desk editors to refine editorial direction for the desk and produce top-quality articles.
  • Work with writers, photo editors, photographers, and the graphics and design team to decide on coverage and approach for specific stories. Evaluate manuscripts for storytelling, logic, style, readability, and interest. Work with writers to improve articles through revision. Work with Analytics, Audience Development, and Distribution teams, as well as the Executive Editor/Science, to finalize the content to publication.
  • Be knowledgeable about current stories involving science and the environment. Be able to represent National Geographic at industry conferences or as a subject-matter expert in media appearances.


An undergraduate degree is required.

The ideal candidate will have at least 5 years of magazine or newspaper editorial experience, with a strong background in writing, editing, and story development and a broad knowledge of science and the environment. Specifically, the individual should possess most of the following qualifications and characteristics:

  • Superior line editing and conceptual editing skills;
  • Ability with headlines, decks, call-outs, coverlines, and sidebars;
  • Ability to recognize and create story ideas, including ideas with major visual components;
  • Experience working with documentary-style photography;
  • Cheerful unflappability under deadline and other pressures;
  • Ability to work cooperatively with multi-personality story teams;
  • Ability to help with recruiting and retaining a talented staff and attracting the best freelance writers and photographers;
  • Familiarity with SEO best practices and analytics platforms;
  • Flexibility to handle some travel and public speaking.

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, gender identity, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We will consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories consistent with applicable law.

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