Barbara Strauch, who has been the deputy science editor charged with coordinating The New York Times‘ health and medical coverage, is stepping up to become that newspaper’s science editor. On March 15, Strauch will take the place of Laura Chang, who led NYT science for six years. Chang will direct the paper’s “cross-departmental” coverage of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
According to a report from Curtis Brainard and Cristine Russell on CJR.org, Strauch will lead a 22-person department (not including freelancers) and plans to maintain the paper’s equal emphasis on both health and science.
In addition to already prominent health topics like genetics, Strauch told CJR that she thinks issues like sociology, demography and psychology will rise in profile in the coming year. She also told the reporters that she plans to hire somebody to replace her as health editor, but that she’s going to remain flexible in terms of department structure for the time being.
In an internal e-mail announcing the promotion, NYT Executive Editor Bill Keller praised Strauch’s work on the paper’s health section.
“What was already a major undertaking, discerning and covering the most important stories in a constant stream of medical research, tracking the changing worlds of physicians and pharmaceuticals, has been a gargantuan task as the costs and politics of health care have become a consuming national issue,” he wrote. “Barbara’s deep understanding of the issues, her exquisite sense of timing and her appreciation for good storytelling have enriched every part of this coverage.”