Leslie Bienen

Leslie Bienen is a fiction writer, science journalist, and researcher. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, Chattahoochee Review, Cream City Review, and Scoundrel Time, among many others. She was a James Michener Fellow at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She was a regular contributor to Frontiers and The Environment for many years. She has published in Orion, Open Spaces, Conservation Magazine, and many more environmental magazines. She has worked in science communication for over 25 years. Her recent activity and writing have been focused on various problems and uncertainties around COVID-19 and public health. In May of 2022, Bienen appeared in a podcast in Podtail’s Plenary Session, which discusses medicine, oncology, and health policy. The full podcast, an hour and 21 minutes, can be found here.

Bienen received her B.A. from Princeton University and her M.F.A. from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She acquired her D.V.M from Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. As a veterinary student, she was one of the founding investigators of a large-scale, ongoing research project at Tufts University about a national plan of rabies control for Nepal. She worked for seven years at Kaiser Permanente Northwest’s Center for Health Research. She was a co-investigator on the Bighorn Sheep Disease project and has researched, written about several bat viruses transmissible to humans, and sampled livestock in Nepal for bovine brucellosis and tuberculosis. Bienen helped create a website to share the findings and methods of the study. She taught at the University of Iowa, and Chulalongkorn University in Thailand, and has traveled to China, Japan, Nepal, Thailand, Indonesia, Africa, Mexico, New Zealand, and Australia. 

Bienen lives in Portland, Oregon, and teaches primarily undergraduate courses at OHSU-Portland State University School of Public Health including Global Health and Consumer Health. She is the pilot program coordinator for PSU’s BUILD EXITO program, an undergraduate research training program that supports students on their pathway to becoming scientific researchers and aims to increase diversity in the biomedical workforce. Her own research focuses on conservation medicine and on zoonotic disease transmission to understand the interaction between human health, environmental changes, and the health of nonhuman species. Bienen is one of the founders of C3 Science Communication, created in 2011. C3 aims to help scientists obtain funding, publish papers, develop recruitment materials, disseminate findings, and get research into classrooms. 

Updated June 2022

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