Rhitu Chatterjee Rhitu Chatterjee is a reporter and editor on NPR's Science Desk, where she reports the latest news and feature stories on science, health, and the environment.

Rhitu Chatterjee

Reporter/Editor, Science Desk

Rhitu Chatterjee is a reporter and editor on NPR's Science Desk, where she reports the latest news and feature stories on science, health, and the environment. She also generates ideas for series or themes for the desk to explore, and periodically edits the science team on both radio and digital platforms.

In her role, Chatterjee has reported on the reasons behind a disturbing health statistic in America — the unusually high rate of infant death among African Americans. In her previous role as an editor for NPR's The Salt, she produced one of her favorite projects, a short online food video series called "Hot Pot: A Dish. A Memory," which featured dishes from a particular country as made by a person who grew up with the dish. The series was produced in collaboration with NPR's Goats & Soda blog.

Before coming to NPR, Chatterjee reported on current affairs from New Delhi for PRI's The World, and covered science and health news for Science Magazine. Before that, she was based in Boston as a science correspondent with PRI's The World. She has also worked as a freelancer and correspondent for NPR's Science Desk. She began her career covering environmental news and policy for Environmental Science & Technology.

Throughout her career, Chatterjee has reported on everything from basic scientific discoveries to issues at the intersection of science, society and culture. She has covered the legacy of the Bhopal gas tragedy in 1984, the world's largest industrial disaster. She has reported on a mysterious epidemic of chronic kidney disease in Sri Lanka and India. While in New Delhi, she also covered women's issues. Her reporting went beyond the breaking news headlines about sexual violence to document the underlying social pressures faced by Indian girls and women. She has done numerous stories on how a growing number of Indian women are fighting for better opportunities in education and in the workplace and trying to make the country a safer place for future generations of women.

She has won two reporting grants from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and was awarded a certificate of merit by the Gabriel Awards in 2014.

Chatterjee has mentored student fellows by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, as well as young journalists for the Society of Environmental Journalists' mentorship program. She's also taught science writing at the Santa Fe Science Writing Workshop.

She did her undergraduate work in Darjeeling, India. And she has two master's degrees—a master of science in biotechnology from Visva-Bharati in India, and a master of arts in journalism from the University of Missouri.

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Story Archive

What Detention And Separation Mean For Kids' Mental Health

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Kelly Zimmerman holds her son Jaxton Wright at a parenting session at the Children's Health Center in Reading, Pa. The free program provides resources and social support to new parents in recovery from addiction, or who are otherwise vulnerable. Natalie Piserchio for NPR hide caption

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Beyond Opioids: How A Family Came Together To Stay Together

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Helping those who are suffering know they are not alone is one step toward suicide prevention, researchers say. Veronica Grech/Getty Images hide caption

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U.S. Suicide Rates Are Rising Faster Among Women Than Men

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Loneliness is on the rise in the U.S., particularly among younger people, such as members of Generation Z, born between the mid-1990s and the early 2000s, and millennials, just a little bit older. Tara Moore/Getty Images hide caption

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EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt claims the new rule will strengthen transparency. Scientific organizations worry it will exclude valuable data from EPA's rule-making process. Jason Andrew/Getty Images hide caption

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Assortment of Early and Middle Stone Age tools found in the Olorgesailie Basin, Kenya. The tool at left is a hand axe. Jay Reed/NPR hide caption

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Scientists Are Amazed By Stone Age Tools They Dug Up In Kenya

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Activists participate in the Take Back The Workplace March and #MeToo Survivors March & Rally on Nov. 12, 2017, in Hollywood, Calif. A new survey offers the first set of nationwide data on prevalence, showing that the problem is pervasive and women are most often the victims. Sarah Morris/Getty Images hide caption

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A range of household products including cleaning agents, paints, perfumes, hairsprays and soaps emit volatile compounds that contribute significantly to air pollution. These compounds react with molecules in air forming particulate matter and ozone, both of which are harmful to human health. Paul Bradbury/Caiaimage/Getty Images hide caption

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Middle Palaeolithic artifacts recently excavated from Attirampakkam, an archaeological site in present-day southern India. The artifacts suggest the technique used to make them spread across the world long before researchers previously thought. Sharma Centre for Heritage Education, India/Nature hide caption

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Sharma Centre for Heritage Education, India/Nature

The fossil found in Misliya cave. Details of the teeth — their shapes and sizes relative to each other — helped scientists confirm that this belongs to Homo sapiens. Gerhard Weber/University of Vienna/Science hide caption

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Gerhard Weber/University of Vienna/Science

New Fossil Found In Israel Suggests A Much Earlier Human Migration Out Of Africa

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News Brief: Trump Attacks Bannon, Manafort Sues The DOJ, Winter Storm

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The storm spread snow and freezing rain across the Southeast on Wednesday. It's expected to intensify as it moves up the coast. Stephen B. Morton/AP hide caption

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Stephen B. Morton/AP

Scientists Warn 'Bomb Cyclone' Brings Strong Winds, Cold Temperatures

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Samantha Pierce of Cleveland has a 7-year-old daughter, Camryn. In 2009, Pierce gave premature birth to twins. The babies did not survive. Scientists say black women lead more stressful lives, which makes them more likely to give birth prematurely and puts their babies at risk of dying. Dustin Franz for NPR hide caption

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How Racism May Cause Black Mothers To Suffer The Death Of Their Infants

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An illustration comparing the giant penguin to an average person. Kumimanu biceae weighed about 220 pounds and was a bit shorter than 6 feet in height. It swam around off the coast of New Zealand between 55 and 60 million years ago. Gerald Mayr hide caption

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Gerald Mayr

Giant Prehistoric Penguins Once Swam Off The Coast Of New Zealand

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Joaquin "Jocko" Fajardo makes a spicy Mexican version of chop suey, a classic American Chinese dish. He tells us how his great-aunt learned to make the dish from the Asian employees at her Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles. NPR hide caption

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