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Award-winning science reporting by Sally Lehrman with an emphasis on race relations, identity and gender.



If you're interested in working with Santa Clara students or forums to discuss a more inclusive media, please participate in our digital discussions or write me at






















About Sally Lehrman

Promoting inclusive journalism

I hold Santa Clara University’s Knight Ridder – San Jose Mercury News Endowed Chair in Journalism and the Public Interest. A professor in the communication department, I also am a Markkula Center for ApNew America Media trainingplied Ethics Scholar and affiliated with the Center for Science, Technology and Society. I teach courses on science, race and multiculturalism and the news. I also engage local communities in journalism issues and bring speakers on campus to discuss representation and ethics in coverage.

My book, News in a New America, is a fresh take on diversity in news coverage and staffing. I served for a decade as national diversity chair for the Society of Professional Journalists and am an Institute for Justice and Journalism Senior Fellow on race.

Reporting on identity, science and society

I specialize in covering identity, race relations and gender within the context of medicine and science. My byline credits include Scientific American, Health,, Nature, The New York Times and SoundVision Production's The DNA Files, three series of public radio documentaries on genetics and society distributed by National Public Radio.

I first started covering genetic research with one of its earliest controversies, the illegal field test of a genetically engineered microbe on a company rooftop in 1985. Since then, I have regularly covered genetic testing, population genetics, genetic privacy, agricultural biotechnology and related topics for public radio, newspapers and magazines. I also write on race and gender issues, with articles on topics such as genetic ancestry, stereotype threat and unconscious bias for Scientific American and opinion pieces on race relations for the Boston Globe and San Francisco Chronicle. I was a columnist, business writer, medical writer, business section deputy editor and copy editor for the San Francisco Examiner over 13 years at the Hearst-owned newspaper.

Coaching and workshops

If the public is to continue to have a voice in politics and policy, high-quality journalism must find a way to survive -- and not just in the hands of traditional news media. The drive, standards and work behind quality reporting can and should cross into other arenas. Recent trainings and workshops include several for ethnic media and also citizen journalists who are teachers, private investigators, grandmothers or musicians in their regular work lives. For some examples of their work, see Oakland Local and SJBeez.

Speaking engagements

I'm available to give talks on inclusion and diversity in the news, science coverage, and on writing with passion and integrity. Some recent appearances include The Trialogue of Cultures: Migration and Media at Herbert Quandt-Stiftung in Bad Homburg, Germany; a series of conversations with news media in Bosnia-Herzegovina to discuss cross-ethnic reporting; and presentations for SoundVision Productions' Science Literacy Project.

Honors and awards

My journalism honors include a 2002 Peabody Award, Peabody/Robert Wood Johnson Award for Excellence in Health and Medical Programming, and Columbia/Du Pont Silver Baton shared for The DNA Files; the SPJ Wells Key (the Society of Professional Journalists' highest honor); various other reporting and writing awards; and the 1995-96 John S. Knight Fellowship at Stanford University.