[Editor’s note: Starting in April 2021, I undertook a large scale reorganization of this blog. As time allows over the next few months I will be revising the format and reposting hundreds of Taking Bearing columns and related posts. When the task is complete I will remove this note.  If you recall a specific entry or are following a broken link to an entry, contact me at  kleelerner at alumni.harvard.edu and I will do my best to provide you with a copy. Cheers, Lee]

“Recognized for his use of language, accuracy, and balanced presentation, K. Lee Lerner‘s portfolio covering science and global issues has garnered respected writing, book and media awards, including books on climate changeinfectious diseases, and biotechnology named as Outstanding Academic Titles. His dossier spans every continent, includes two global circumnavigations, and features coverage from areas suffering civil war, violent protests, drought, famine, and disease outbreaks. Centering on the plight of displaced and vulnerable populations, Lerner’s work at Harvard treated both the humanitarian and security facets inherent in responding to both man-made and natural disasters. That experience, built on a scholarly foundation in science, allows his evidence-based writing to bring clarity to chaotic and complex issues.

Contributing editor of more than 40 academic books and producer and/or contributing editor of more than two dozen major media projects, for more than three decades — across print, broadcast media, and digital platforms — Lerner’s ‘Taking Bearings,’ essays have ranged across the human intellectual enterprise. He has served on the board of advisors for the venerable American Men and Women of Science since 2003 and his Academia site consistently ranks among those most frequently accessed by students, scholars, and decision makers from around the world.”

— National Press Club biography

Spanning science, education, and journalism with multiple master’s degrees — including a master’s degree with academic honors from Harvard — Lerner’s training in epidemiology at Harvard along with professional programs in crisis leadership and crisis communications at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health add scholarly depth to Lerner’s writing and other professional work.

Lerner has written extensively on applications of science and technology related to intelligence, privacy, and security issues. In addition to books on terrorism and extremist groups , Lerner served as editor-in-chief of the globally trusted Encyclopedia of Espionage, Intelligence, and Security, a reference resource selected by the DIA, FBI, U.S. Naval War College, U.S. Army War College, the UK Defense Staff College as well as academic institutions and defense/intelligence schools from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government to the Australian Defense Force Academy.

From 2008 to 2017, Lerner served as the content development editor, and then contributing editor, of the critically-acclaimed Global Issues Resource Center. Treating energy, environmental, and global health issues as both scientific challenges and security threats, he served the editor for the third edition of the RUSA award-winning Environmental Encyclopedia.

A member of the American Association of Physics Teachers, Lerner’s work reflects a personal and professional commitment toward the development of high-quality accessible educational resources for teachers and younger students at the high school, AP, and early undergraduate levels. With undergraduate concentrations in physics and molecular biology and a graduate degree in science education (M.Ed.), as a certified teacher Lerner added classroom-teaching experience to the development of university-level STEM courses in physics and biological sciences. He and served as editor-in-chief for three editions of the Gale Encyclopedia of Science, where he continued on as a contributing advisor for the sixth edition published in 2021. Since 2003 he has served as a contributing editor for the Gale Science Resource Center.

With his frequent media partner, Harvard alumna Brenda Wilmoth Lerner, Lerner co-founded and served as senior commissioning editor for LMG (London, Paris, Cambridge), a producer of science and factual media for the world’s leading academic publishers. Independently, Lerner’s deep familiarity with urgent scientific, environmental, and public health issues has made him a sought-after consultant and “red team” leader for government, NGO, and corporate entities facing security, regulatory, quality assurance, training, and crisis communication challenges.

An aviator and avid sailor, Lerner is a member of the Harvard Alumni Association; the Harvard Faculty Club; the Harvard Club of Boston; the American Association of Physics Teachers; the World Congress of Science and Factual Producers (Paris 2011); the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO); the U.S. Naval Institute; and the National Press Club in Washington, DC. He is a lifetime member of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest all-discipline academic honor society. His fiction writing is published under a nom de plume. — Scholars at Harvard bio


This is my personal blog about things of interest to me both as author, editor, scientist, and scholar. Unless otherwise attributed, the  views expressed are mine.  Additional biographical information and samples of my work may be found at Scholars at Harvard,  Academia, and I am on Facebook as Lee Lerner  where I maintain publicly accessible albums containing selected professional and personal photos.

My personal interests include flying; sailing Gulf waters from Mobile Bay to Pensacola Bay aboard Bella (she also serves as an alternate study and place to write when I am in residence at a family home on the Gulf Coast); quail hunting in Texas; fly fishing in Vermont, North Carolina, and Colorado; alpine night skiing; road cycling (I have cycled thousands of kilometers near Girona, across Provence — including Mont Ventoux — and in the Po Valley of Italy); trying to keep up some Krav Maga skills rusting with age; and the occassional weekend indulgence required to keep road ready my  ’76 Triumph Spitfire (a love acquired in college that’s on “’till death do us part” footing) and vintage Triumph motorcycle.



Paris, France. December 2019