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Last Updated: 09 August, 2022

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

“Science produces the sea wall of reality that waves of quasi-religious. pseudo-intellectual, and postmodernist thought crash against.” — K. Lee Lerner.  Scientific Thought


“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

Additional quote collections are available online at: