Publications

Submitted
Lerner KL. Evolution and Evolutionary Mechanisms Controlling Genetic Variation. In: Selected Papers. Originally published in 2001 (Updated 2010, 2012). Draft Copy. ; Submitted. harvard.academia.edu//kleelerner
Lerner KL. Disaster Relief and Recovery: The Role of Situational Awareness (Harvard, 2013). In: Selected Papers. Originally published in February, 2013 (Updated: May, 2014). Draft Copy. ; Submitted. harvard.academia.edu//kleelerner
Lerner. KL. Disaster Relief and Recovery Shifting from Disaster to Recovery (Harvard 2013). In: Selected Papers, Originally published in 2013 (Updated 2015). Draft Copy. ; Submitted. harvard.academia.edu//kleelerner
2108
Introduction to Sociology
Lerner KL, Lerner BW, Rennie E ed. Introduction to Sociology. Intellus Learning and Macmillan Learning. 2108. Publisher's VersionAbstract

An introductory undergraduate course and/or supplemental resource. (online)

Produced by K. Lee Lerner and curated by LMG's academic subject-matter experts and editorial teams, Intorduction to Sociology is a fully customizable undergraduate course crafted in partnership with Intellus Learning and Macmillan Learning editors, instructors, and compliance experts. Topics include: An Introduction to Sociology; Sociological Research; Culture; Socialization; Groups and Organization; Deviance, Crime, and Social Control; Media and Technology; Social Stratification in the United States; Global Inequality; Race and Ethnicity; Gender, Sex, and Sexuality; Aging and the Elderly; Marriage and Family; Religion; Education; Government and Politics; Work and the Economy; Health and Medicine; Population, Urbanization, and the Environment; Social Movements and Social Change.

 

2023
American Men & Women of Science, 21st through 41st edition.
Lerner KL, Advisor. American Men & Women of Science, 21st through 41st edition. Cengage | Gale. The 41st edition, edited by Kathy Nehmah, is set for release in. 2023. harvard.academia.edu/kleelernerAbstract

In publication since 1906, the venerable American Men and Women of Science remains without peer as a chronicle of scientific endeavor and achievement ..." -- WorldTrade Review Essays 

"The Cadillac of scientific biography" -- Booklist. Selected for collections at Princeton, Harvard,  MIT,  JPL/ Caltech; the Wellcome Trust Collection, and more 

K. Lee Lerner has served on the Advisory Board for American Men and Women of Science for the last 20 editions (21st through 40th edition;  2003-2022),  He is currently working as an advisor for the 41st edition due to be published in 2023.

 

First published as American Men of Science by J. McKeen Cattell in 1906, throughout its 116 year history American Men and Women of Science has recognized both men and women scientists who have made significant contributions in their field.  In 1971, the name of the series was changed to American Men and Women of Science.

 

American Men and Women of Science includes scientists selected for their contributions to science as measured by their publications in reputable scientific journals and media. Also included are those whose work cannot be published due to governmental or industrial security. Inclusion criteria include awards, grants and other forms of recognition, publication record, attainment of a position of substantial scientific responsibility, and nomination by peers in their respective fields. Scientists who are not citizens of the United States or Canada are included if a significant portion of their work was performed in North America.

2022
Reading Caesar. Through the looking glass of history shine lessons for today.
Lerner KL. Reading Caesar. Through the looking glass of history shine lessons for today. Taking Bearings, Harvard Blogs. 2022;(November 17). Publisher's VersionAbstract

Reading Julius Caesar is a wonderful exercise in propaganda detection and discussions about such detection in Caesar's commentaries are the quickest way to reveal a person' s depth of scholarly acquittance with the material. (download to read more)

 

Honor Due: Queen Elizabeth II
Lerner KL. Honor Due: Queen Elizabeth II. Taking Bearings. Harvard Blogs. 2022;(September 20). Publisher's VersionAbstract
For all their flaws and imperfections, especially as judged by contemporary standards, and for whatever failings history may eventually affix to them, the institutions of the British monarchy and the leadership of Churchill saved western civilization during the Second World War. (download to read more)
Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant perils part of novel challenges regarding nuclear safety
Lerner KL. Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant perils part of novel challenges regarding nuclear safety. Taking Bearings. Harvard Blogs. 2022;(August 9). Publisher's VersionAbstract

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has posed novel problems related to nuclear safety for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Western intelligence communities, and media outlets because this is the first time a large scale shooting war has threatened multiple nuclear power plants. Early concerns about perils posed by radioactive materials stored at the damaged and decommissioned Chernobyl nuclear power plant have now turned to fears about evident damage to the Zaporizhzhia (also spelled Zaporizhia) nuclear plant located on the Dnipro river-fed Kakhovka reservoir in a southern area of Ukraine now occupied by Russian forces.

 

The challenges include sifting sources for misinformation and disinformation.  (download to read more)

 

K Lee Lerner: Select Bibliography
Lerner KL. K Lee Lerner: Select Bibliography. 2022.Abstract

A select bibliography of published works by K. Lee Lerner  (this document is due substantial revision to include both academic and general writing prior to 2003. 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

k_dossier_harvard_scholars_cv_bibliography_select.pdf
US Border Policy -- It's not just about power, it's about lives
Lerner KL. US Border Policy -- It's not just about power, it's about lives. Taking Bearings. Harvard Blogs. 2022;(28 June). Publisher's VersionAbstract
The deaths in San Antonio of more than 50 migrants found in trailer-truck abandoned in Texas summer heat... Right now, vulnerable migrants are dehumanized into political footballs as the United States border policies swing between overly permissive and overly restrictive extremes... I would hope that people on both the left and right in American politics would look at this tragedy as a reminder that shaping a cogent and consistent border policy that maintains U.S. integrity, discourages illegal migration, and protects us from the worst in other societies is important. It is equally important to treat genuine asylum seekers with dignity and treat those who simply want to work with the basic protections and security green cards provide. In sum, we should strive for policies that are both humane and emblematic of a great nation substantially built by people from other lands. (download full text)
US Border Policy -- It's not just about power, it's about lives
Lerner KL. US Border Policy -- It's not just about power, it's about lives. Taking Bearings. Harvard Blogs. 2022;(28 June). Publisher's VersionAbstract
The deaths in San Antonio of more than 50 migrants found in trailer-truck abandoned in Texas summer heat... Right now, vulnerable migrants are dehumanized into political footballs as the United States border policies swing between overly permissive and overly restrictive extremes... I would hope that people on both the left and right in American politics would look at this tragedy as a reminder that shaping a cogent and consistent border policy that maintains U.S. integrity, discourages illegal migration, and protects us from the worst in other societies is important. It is equally important to treat genuine asylum seekers with dignity and treat those who simply want to work with the basic protections and security green cards provide. In sum, we should strive for policies that are both humane and emblematic of a great nation substantially built by people from other lands.
Lerner KL. Policymakers must now assume that Iran has the enriched uranium it needs to build a nuclear weapon. Taking Bearings. Harvard Blogs. 2022;(June 1). Publisher's VersionAbstract
Policymakers must now assume that Iran has the enriched uranium it needs to build a nuclear weapon. Containment is a failure as Iran’s breakout time is now essentially at zero. [Additional background for non-scientists is appended]. According to estimates prepared from International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)  reports and Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS),  Iran now has sufficient stores of highly enriched uranium (e.g., HEU or 60 percent enriched uranium ) to fashion a crude nuclear weapon. [1] As I predicted in March, Iran now has sufficient HEU, the required centrifuges, and the skill to rapidly increase enrichment of weapon-grade uranium (e.g., WGU or 90 percent enriched uranium) within a few weeks. [2] … (download to read more)
Reality intrusion on Iran nuclear talks - Iran's nuclear progress renders the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) essentially moot
Lerner KL. Reality intrusion on Iran nuclear talks - Iran's nuclear progress renders the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) essentially moot. Taking Bearings. Harvard Blogs. 2022;(11 January). Publisher's VersionAbstract

Reality intrusion on Iran nuclear talks: Iran's nuclear progress renders the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) essentially moot. Even with revisions proposed by the Biden Administration, recommitment to the JCPOA would provide little protection.

 

The JCPOA is intended to provide a one-year window of safety between Iran's commitment to build a nuclear weapon and the possession of sufficient enriched uranium to construct such a weapon. Iran has already reduced that window of time to weeks. (download to read more)

Russian propaganda and western media cheerleading mask causes, perils, and probable outcomes in Ukraine
Lerner KL. Russian propaganda and western media cheerleading mask causes, perils, and probable outcomes in Ukraine. Taking Bearings. Harvard Blogs. 2022;(March 22). Publisher's VersionAbstract

March 22, 2022 Russian media is a tightly controlled instrument of state propaganda. Sadly, large segments of our western media are now independently engaged in cheerleading that often crossed into propaganda. The Ten Essential Techniques and Elements of Propaganda. Go ahead... test it against all sides in all wars. Although formulated for war, with some minor modifications the list is also applicable to political and culture war propaganda.

"1. We don’t want war; we are only defending ourselves.

2. Our adversary is solely responsible for this war.

3. Our adversary’s leader is inherently evil and resembles the devil… (download to read more)

North Korean missile test reveals both increased capacity and Pyongyang's smokescreen
Lerner KL. North Korean missile test reveals both increased capacity and Pyongyang's smokescreen. Taking Bearings. Harvard Blogs. 2022;(March 25). Publisher's VersionAbstract

Based on reports by the U.S. Department of Defense, the Open Nuclear Network (ONN) and other open source intelligence,  here are 10 things you need to know about the North Korea missile program and the latest North Korean missile test:

1. With a flight duration of 71 minutes, the March 24, 2022 test, assumed to be a Hwasong-17 missile test, was the longest duration flight by a North Korean ICBM. The missile reached an estimated altitude of 3730 miles (6,000 km) and 3850 miles (6,200 km) according to respective reports from Japan and South Korea. The launch was nearly vertical, ranging only 730 miles (1,180 km) to fall into the Sea of Japan, but if the missile had been launched on a standard ballistic missile trajectory, the estimated range would reach across the continental United States. (download to read more)

Putin's take it or break it strategy in Ukraine and his perilous nuclear options
Lerner KL. Putin's take it or break it strategy in Ukraine and his perilous nuclear options. Taking Bearings. Harvard Blogs. 2022;(March 26). Publisher's VersionAbstract
Ten things to know about the war in Ukraine, including Putin's potential use of a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine: 
1. Time is now an ally of Ukraine. With Western logistical support, time is now on Ukraine's side. Until recently time was viewed as something that worked against Ukraine. Given Russia's superior numbers, the defeat and occupation of Ukraine was widely viewed (myself included)  as just a matter of time. The stout Ukrainian resistance combined with Russian Army and Air Force arrogance and incompetence have now, however, turned time into a Ukrainian asset. Absent substantial help from China, or Putin's use of tactical nuclear weapons (for political purposes his most viable WMD option) the war has devolved into one of attrition that gives a constantly resupplied Ukraine a fighting chance. 
2. Putin's WMD reasoning. A war of attrition increases the potential that Putin will resort to the use of a tactical nuclear weapon. How likely is it that Putin might pursue a nuclear option? If Putin is irrational then rational analysis will not yield medium or high confidence assessments of his potential decisions, but one way to approach this problem is to assess negative outcomes a rational Putin might weigh in deciding whether to use a nuclear device. 
3. Perilous options. Should Putin attempt the use of a tactical nuclear weapon, he not only faces the prospect that (1) subordinates may not follow orders, but also (2) that a nuclear weapon fizzles. If either of those things happen, it is the end of the Putin regime. 
4. A military plundered by corruption. How much confidence does Putin have in his command and control? …. 
5. How potent is the Russian nuclear threat? There is also great uncertainty regarding the state of Russian nuclear weapons. Given the state of Russian military infrastructure and performance, it is questionable whether the Russian have adequately maintained and replenished enriched uranium or plutonium stocks. Nuclear weapons also depend on other components that degrade with time… (download to read more)
Iran's Nuclear Breakout Window Narrows
Lerner KL. Iran's Nuclear Breakout Window Narrows. Taking Bearings. Harvard Blogs. 2022;(March 9). Publisher's VersionAbstract

 

Iran's nuclear window narrows. Ten things you need to know about the nuclear capacity of the Islamic Republic of Iran in order to offer cogent analysis of Iran’s compliance with the existing Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and/or ongoing negotiations by the U.S. to adapt that agreement before joining it once again as a participating party.

Based on a recent International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Iran Verification and Monitoring Report of March 3, 2022 [1], and subsequent Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) analysis [2], Iran is continuing to advance its nuclear capabilities, hide nuclear research facilities, and thwart international inspections. (download to read more)

Frequently Cited Quotations
Lerner KL. Frequently Cited Quotations. Multiple Sources. 2022.Abstract

 

Last Updated: 29 July, 2022

 

Frequently cited quotes from K Lee Lerner's books, papers, articles, and essays:

 

“Pseudoscience is almost always recognizable from a distance, and easy to confirm on close examination. Science is, however, not immune from hubris, and bad science can be tougher to spot. Those of us who make a living from science or science media must display scientific integrity. We must constantly test our assumptions and fight the siren song of consensus when our data tells us to be contrarian. We must remain independent of political or religious bias in evaluating our work. We must admit when we are wrong and remain willing to evolve when verifiable data demands change. We must admit when we are uncertain, remain humble in advances, and offer courageous and independent advice grounded in science.” ― K Lee Lerner

 

“Pseudoscience often relies on a witches' brew of scientific terms (e.g. "wavelength," "energy fields," "vibrations") half-baked into simplistic metaphors that do not correspond with testable reality. In some cases, pseudoscience simply relies on language that is deliberately vague and poorly defined to deceive. While outright lunacy is almost always easy to spot, the most dangerous of pseudoscientific meanderings are those filled with scientific terminology that, even for experts, can initially be daunting and impressive. Upon dissection, however, the terminology is invariably found to be misused, or used in a context far from accepted understanding. However convincing and artful, however much we may even wish the conclusions to be true, monuments built in such shifting sands cannot withstand the inevitable tests of time.” ― K Lee Lerner

 

“Facts count. Conspiracy theories, usually the refuge of the bitter or disempowered, range from factually challenged to wildly hallucinogenic. Conspiracy theories are not harmless entertainment, or a laudable facet of the freedom of speech. Conspiracy theories do both overt and tacit harm. Dangerous when they deal with public health issues, at a minimum, almost all are insults to the integrity of thousands of hard-working and honest people. In the extreme, conspiracy theories slander entire races, nations, or cultures.” ― K. Lee Lerner, Social Issues Primary Sources Collection

 

"Regarding hidden variables in quantum systems: Quantum theory makes no claim to impart any form of knowing or consciousness on the behavior of particles. Although it is trendy to borrow selected concepts from quantum theory to prop up many New Age interpretations of nature, quantum theory does not provide for and mystical mechanisms. The fact that quantum theory make accurate depictions and predictions of particle behavior does not mean that the mathematical constructs of quantum theory depict the actual physical reality of the quantum wave. Simply put, there is no demand that the universe present us with easy-to-understand mechanisms of action." K. Lee Lerner. Scientific Thought in Context.

 

 

“I have always believed there is great value in studying the flaws of mankind and men —even fictional characters. All of us are flawed. All of us are diminished by some form of prejudice and bias. If a fictional character is to be realistic, he must struggle with imperfections and weaknesses.” ― K. Lee Lerner, Government, Politics, and Protest: Essential Primary Sources

 

“There is unspeakable yet entirely preventable suffering in this world. The job of journalists and writers engaged with global issues is to articulate the unspeakable and give voice to solutions. -- K. Lee Lerner” ― K. Lee Lerner, Infectious Diseases: In Context

 

“I have always regretted instances in which I failed to live up to the highest standards of conduct or principles of compassion that I cherish and teach. Being human, I anticipate regretting future failures.” ― K. Lee Lerner

 

“Global experience -- whether gained from work, travel, or more challenging exploration -- shreds preconceptions and stereotypes, deepens appreciation of cultural similarities and diversity, and integrates local insights into the coverage of international issues." -- K. Lee Lerner. Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, April 2010.” ― K Lee Lerner, Human Geography: People and the Environment

 

“Facts count. Conspiracy theories, usually the refuge of the bitter or disempowered, range from factually challenged to wildly hallucinogenic. Many conspiracy theories do both overt and tacit harm. Almost all are insults, intended or unintended, are insults to thousands of hard-working and honest people, and sometimes to entire races, nations, or cultures.” ― K Lee Lerner

 

“There is adventure in finding compelling stories and exploring complex issues in challenging environments, but there is also a responsibility to tell those stories accurately and objectively.” ― K. Lee Lerner, Human Geography: People and the Environment

 

“The nimble of mind long for the challenge of new discoveries. Weary minds cling to what is already known.” ― K. Lee Lerner, Scientific Thought in Context

 

“I'm an unabashed elitist. Everyone needs a good editor, and there is peril in worshiping amateurism and the unedited in science, art, and journalism.” ― K Lee Lerner

 

"We no longer live in a world of classic and formal divisions between man-made technology and the natural world, but rather in a world of increasing synthesis of technology and nature, a techno-natural world. An example of such blurring and blending exists if we plant crops in flood prone areas that are flood tolerant (or that thrive on flooding) but which also mitigate soil erosion and flash flooding. To effectively combat global warming and climate change, this blurring of technology and nature will be essential. To this mix we should, most often without any engineering compromise, also add in ethical and cultural value considerations." — K Lee Lerner, Climate Change in Context

 

 (more quotes)

 

Additional quote collections are available online at:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/1437692.K_Lee_Lerner
https://www.wisefamousquotes.com/k-lee-lerner-quotes/
https://quotation.io/page/author/k-lee-lerner

 

 

2021
The discredited Steele dossier, a test of media ethics
Lerner KL. The discredited Steele dossier, a test of media ethics. Taking Bearings. Harvard Blogs. 2021;(November 21). Publisher's VersionAbstract
With regard to the Steele Dossier, the question I address is not the ultimate truth or falsity of those assertions.  My concern is the subsequent scrutiny laid on the dossier as well the subsequent use of unsubstantial claims to enhance ratings or advance partisan interests.  The who, what, when, where, and why regarding the media and political use the now discredited Steele Dossier is an story import for journalistic integrity. It hauntingly smacks of a publish-then-verify attitude that pumps ratings, or worse, a willingness to publish unverified and potentially unverifiable allegations because they support a preconceived partisan narrative.  Both practices should be anathematic to the ethical practice of journalism.  (download to read more)
What Does the End of a Pandemic Look Like?
Lerner KL. What Does the End of a Pandemic Look Like?. Taking Bearings. Harvard Blogs. 2021;(March 03). Publisher's VersionAbstract

March 23, 2021

What does the end of a pandemic look like?

Expert opinion varies as to how the current COVID-19 global pandemic will end. Many questions still lack answers. 

Most public health experts argue that eradicating or eliminating the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 is no longer possible. The probability is that, even with broad vaccination programs, the virus will remain endemic (i.e., persisting at some level in the human population), if not globally, at least regionally. 

Previously, only two viruses, the deadly smallpox virus and the rinderpest virus that causes disease in cattle, have been declared eradicated (i.e., removed from any presence in the general population and consigned to laboratories designed to house and study dangerous pathogens).  

Sadly, the chances are very slim–virtually nonexistent–that the SARS-CoV-2 virus can be eradicated. Even if it were possible to vaccinate everyone, this would not eliminate the virus because of its zoonotic nature. Zoonotic viruses have an undiscovered animal reservoir that harbors the virus and allows it to exist, reproduce, and mutate outside the human body (download to read more)

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