From National Editor Scott Wilson and Deputy National Editor Lori Montgomery:

We are delighted to announce that Laura Helmuth will become the next editor of National’s health, science and environment team, bringing a rare mix of scientific expertise, a record of journalism excellence and an original vision for digital presentation to one of the most talented staffs in the newsroom.

Laura, who legitimately can be called Dr. Helmuth, is one of the most respected science journalists in the country. She comes to The Post from National Geographic, where she has served as director of digital news. For four years, she was the genius behind Slate’s imaginative science coverage, including a fascinating series on the doubling of the human life span that asked readers to share why they are not dead yet. (Most common answers: Antibiotics and interventions in childbirth.)

Laura’s experience with the subject matter is broad and deep. She has been a health/science editor for nearly two decades, including at Smithsonian and Science magazines. She is incoming president of the National Association of Science Writers. And she holds a PhD in cognitive neuroscience from the University of California at Berkeley. She also has a large following on Twitter, where she delivers a wide-ranging curation of the latest health/science news, accompanied by her astute – and frequently piquant – commentary.

Laura is known by those who have worked with her as a meticulous and wise editor who has, in her words, a “sensitive BS detector.” We think she will fit right in with the savvy pack of editors, guided by the tireless Susan Levine, who have been running the health, science and environment team since Laurie McGinley launched a new cancer beat earlier this year.

Laura’s first day in the newsroom will be May 16. Please welcome her.