Creator Spotlight: Quinn Emmett

Step by step instructions on how to save the world, one newsletter at a time

This creator spotlight has been reposted from

What is Creator Spotlight?

Each week we'll feature a newsletter on beehiiv that's experiencing tremendous success with their content and growth. It's a two part initiative packed into a single day:

  1. an email showcasing their content, tips, and goals (this email here)

  2. and a live Twitter Spaces tonight where you can join the conversation and ask questions directly

We connect with creator Quinn Emmett on his experience on beehiiv and his inspiration to write about important topics in Science.

Tell me about Important, Not Important

It’s science for people who give a shit. It’s the most important science news of the week (what’s happening), my analysis (how to think about it), and Action Steps (what the hell you can do about it). From COVID to climate, agriculture to ethical AI, public health to cancer. The only thing I’m selling is step by step instructions on how to save the world.

We’ve all spent the last two years locked in our living rooms because of science, and we’re getting out of them because of science, too, but more specifically because a bunch of people — frontline health care professionals, scientists, policymakers, etc — decided to do something about it. And millions of other people supported them however they could, in their own ways.

Climate implications (and biotech, and AI, and…) are only going to create a world that is more volatile — but they also require us to move, together, as one, quick as hell, chop chop, to rebuild the entire economy. And society. And, for example, our morals?

The point is — we’re the best at helping people answer the question “What can I do?” And there’s never been a more important time to do be able to do that. If we can help move the needle of progress even an inch, I’ll feel good.

What do you think the newsletter space offers that traditional science media lacks?

I should say that I stand on the shoulders of tremendous science media every week. There’s a question about whether journalists should tell you want to do- I don’t have to worry about that. I tell you very upfront, what I think about an issue and what I think we need to do about it.

I vote Democrat, but I have no allegiance to a party or person. My vote and allegiances are behind whoever is doing the right thing for change. This is especially true for climate, it touches everything. I’ll get feedback from folks that I’ve included the same action step twice in the past six weeks. Or that this one you’ve mentioned, it doesn’t seem like it’s really going to move the needle. I can say yeah, that step is really important so I’ve included it multiple times. Or yeah, something may not move the needle but it can be useful in that it is empowering and inspiring to have accomplished it. These are big problems. We need to use the entire kitchen sink to make this a little better.

What motivated your move to beehiiv?

I started with MailChamp, which was terrible for deliverability, to Active Campaign. Active Campaign was structured for e-commerce so it was never going to build writer/creator/specific stuff, which is what I need. When I was connected to Tyler and the beehiiv team, I was in. Not only did I move my newsletter over, I am a smaller investor in it. I was probably the second or third newsletter into beehiiv in the fall of 2021, the migration was seamless even in the early days of Behiiv. I was up and running the same day.

2022 Goals

I’ve been very lucky to have, from the beginning, an audience that’s qualitatively off the charts. They’re incredibly engaged, and hugely impactful. I’m privileged to be way less worried about growth than I am delivering the best tool I can to a very impactful group, every single week. I rely on word of mouth for scaling, so I’m super pumped to have the referral program functionality rolling out with beehiiv.

What do you see for the future?

It’s essentially like, look, everyone on twitter is an amateur epidemiologist. There are a lot of people affected by these things and that’s going to continue to grow. If we grow by 10x or 100x, that’s great. What I really want is to have an audience that is really engaged and is going to take action. I’m lucky that it’s a little niche. It’s not a super hot web3 thing (as cool as that is). This requires a little more thinking in the real world, and I’m proud to keep it that way.

For the first time, I’m going to start running ads in other newsletters, but again, it’s going to be very thoughtful. It’s not about whether a newsletter has 10K subscribers, it’s more about what newsletter has overlap and an aligned mission. If I get feedback from a large group of people that something needs to change, I’ll consider that. We’re in a good place, I feel excited about this year.

Advice for other writers

Find your niche, own it, and roll with it. There’s an audience for everything.

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